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Trains go slow

  • Trains go slow

Walsh: Minister's response is slower than the slow trains

Member for Murray Plains Peter Walsh has fired a shot at Transport Minister Jacinta Allan for her response to questions over the Bendigo rail line.

Mr Walsh claims her response to questions on the speed of the rail line was slower than the trains which travel on it.

Following a campaign of intense lobbying over the past three years by Rochester and Echuca rail users, the Victorian Government was allocated $92 million of federal funding to upgrade the Bendigo-Echuca line.

“It is now nearly 9 months since that funding was announced and the Minister has not responded to questions as to how the money will be spent,” Mr Walsh said.

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“The 900 signatories to the petition which called on the Labor Government to immediately upgrade the line and increase the track speed are frustrated that they cannot get a straight answer from the Minister.\

“Nothing at all is happening and it begs the question whether the Minister has fudged the money allocated to the Bendigo-Echuca line across to one of her city centric government’s metropolitan rail infrastructure projects.”

In State Parliament recently Mr Walsh asked the Transport Minister with reference to the $91 million project to improve trains speeds on the Echuca Bendigo line

* When will the project start?

* How long will the project take to construct?

* What will the line speed be after the project is completed?

* What will the travel time be from Echuca to Bendigo after the project is completed?

“One would have thought that if Jacinta Allan was fair dinkum about improving rail services for Echuca and Rochester commuters she might have answered the questions before now," he said.

“The tardiness of the Minister indicates to me once again that the Melbourne Labor Government is always prepared to put the interests of Melbourne rail commuters well before those of regional and rural Victoria.”