Public Transport | October 18, 2018

Western Victoria going nowhere under Labor’s rail farce

Just two weeks after attacking The Nationals’ plan for fast rail in Victoria, the Andrews Labor Government has announced its own panicked alternative. But once again Labor seems to have forgotten the existence of western Victoria.

The Nationals Member for Lowan, Emma Kealy said unlike The Nationals’ $19 billion plan, Labor’s plan does not include any money for rail beyond Ballarat and Geelong.

“It is incredibly disappointing that western Victoria has been completed overlooked in Labor’s city-centric ‘Long Term Rail Plan’. Labor’s Rail Plan has confirmed what we already suspected; passenger rail will never return to Horsham, Stawell or Hamilton under a city-centric Labor Government”, Ms Kealy said.

“The Liberal Nationals commitments to regional rail are clear and we have allocated billions of dollars to get on with the job as soon as we get into government.

“The Liberal Nationals will return passenger rail to Horsham and Hamilton and upgrade line tracks to a class one standard, allowing trains to travel at speeds of up to 160km/h and we will buy brand new long haul trains in our first term of government.

“In the last four years, Labor has not taken a single step towards returning passenger rail to Horsham and Hamilton. They have now told us that under a re-elected Labor Government, there will be another four years of talking about high-speed rail for Geelong and Ballarat with no money for construction committed and no works starting.

Ms Kealy said Labor’s proposal did little for anyone living outside Geelong and Ballarat.

“If Daniel Andrews’ Labor was serious about decentralising Victoria’s population and developing our whole state instead of just Melbourne, they would have included at least a mention of western Victoria in their rail plan.”

The Liberal Nationals $19 billion plan for Victoria’s rail network includes high-speed regional rail to Horsham, Hamilton, Donald and Mildura, opening these regions to new opportunities to attract jobs and investment.

“The choice could not be clearer in November. Under Labor, public transport will be worse and there is zero chance of a return of passenger rail to western Victoria. Under the Liberal Nationals, work to bring passenger rail to Horsham and Hamilton will begin immediately, supported by additional bus connections between regional centres”, Ms Kealy said.

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