MEMBER for Northern Victoria, Wendy Lovell has used an adjournment debate in State Parliament recently to highlight the disparity of passenger rail services from Shepparton to Melbourne compared to other regional centres.
To improve the disparity, Ms Lovell has called on the Transport Minister, Jacinta Allan to provide a funding commitment in the 2018/19 State Budget for track, signalling and level crossing upgrades to enable eight services to run to and from Shepparton each day.
“Despite the constant trumpeting by the Andrews Labor Government of their commitment to passenger rail services for people in the Goulburn Valley, it was clear Shepparton had been left behind compared to the investment made in rail services in other regional Victorian cities,” Ms Lovell said.
Ms Lovell said the four daily weekday train services running to and from Shepparton to Melbourne paled in comparison to the same services in Geelong, Bendigo, Ballarat and Traralgon.
“Shepparton has four daily return train services each weekday while Geelong has 53 to Melbourne and 52 returning back, Bendigo has 20 to Melbourne and 25 return, Ballarat has 21 to Melbourne and 24 return and Traralgon has 20 return services each weekday,” Ms Lovell said.
“While Jacinta Allan likes to laud the government’s rail investment in Shepparton, the numbers show that the disparity with investments in other regional areas has increased since the election of the Andrews Labor Government.
“That is why I have called on the minister for a commitment to include funding for further rail infrastructure upgrades in the 2018/19 State Budget to enable eight services to run to and from Shepparton each day,” Ms Lovell said.