Independent Member for Shepparton District Suzanna Sheed says metropolitan media missed the mark, in the lead up to the launch of the Rail Futures report.
“The media focussed entirely on what this report means for metropolitan Melbourne, when at the launch, it was made abundantly clear, that this is a report for regional areas,” Ms Sheed said.
“In launching the report, former deputy Prime Minister Tim Fischer spoke about the need to create a rail link to the Melbourne airport.
“However, he said, that need is secondary, to upgrading the services to regional areas.
“Those involved in creating the report highlighted the need to promote living in regional areas, and the ability to do so, through a more efficient public transport network,” Ms Sheed said.
“The report confirms much of what the All Aboard committee has been pushing since its inception – more, faster, and better services.
“It talks about the need to upgrade the Shepparton-Seymour line to a V/Locity capability, and the need for a passing loop at Murchison.
“It also specifically names Shepparton as the “poor relation”, and how this should no longer be the case, proposing rolling stock and infrastructure improvements as part of Phase 1 of the investment program,” Ms Sheed said.
“It states Shepparton should have eight daily services to Melbourne.
“With upgrades, we should be aiming for 10 daily services.
“The City is growing, and has the potential for much more growth with a more efficient public transport system.
“La Trobe University is adding more courses to its curriculum as is GoTafe. With that, we have the potential to attract more students to our region.
“Hopefully the construction of the new Shepparton Art Museum will start soon, with the Federal funding election commitment we had all been waiting on, made by Damian Drum during his campaign.
“The development of the new courthouse is also, well underway and the redevelopment of Goulburn Valley Health is already in the project design phase.
“But we need to have the network to support these fantastic education, tourism and employment opportunities.
“Better public transport creates a two-way street.
“It not only paves the way for growth in Shepparton, but creates an avenue for Shepparton district residents to better access the city facilities and entertainment.
That access makes regional living much more attractive,” Ms Sheed said.
“I believe this report will help further our All Aboard campaign, and I welcome its release.”
Ms Sheed said the Rail Futures Report will be discussed further at the next All Aboard committee meeting.
Sueanne McCumstie 0428 743 880│firstname.lastname@example.org