The Nationals leader and Member for Murray Plains, Peter Walsh, says the arrival of the long-awaited increased speed – and more services – on the Echuca line are just another empty promise by the Andrews Labor Government.
Mr Walsh said the only way the failure of this guaranteed Andrews Labor Government commitment could go any slower would be if the trains went backwards.
Because he said even though the government had more than $90 million; pushed through by the Federal Nationals; to fix the problems, Labor had once again demonstrated its economic incompetence.
“Three years ago, Jaclyn Symes was promising the earth, the moon and the stars to anyone listening in regional Victoria,” Mr Walsh said.
“For Echuca that promise meant more services and solving the 80km/h go-slow from Goornong,” Mr Walsh said.
“Well Jaclyn, we’ve got three days to Christmas and there’s no sign of any of these projects being delivered,” he said.
“It’s just a load of rubbish. We have a senior Andrews Cabinet member, speaking on the Premier’s behalf, saying the work would be done – and it isn’t.”
Mr Walsh said all the Echuca line had received out of that $90 million was “a new siding – I can’t call it a station – at Goornong and the train still drops back to walking pace from that point on”.
“But now, like the billions and billions of dollars that have disappeared into major infrastructure blowouts in Melbourne, you have to wonder where all that money from Canberra has also gone if the work is not being finished regionally,” Mr Walsh said.
“It’s farcical. For all its headline hunting; Andrews Inc has shown it is as consistently useless at managing money as every Labor government that has come before it.”
“Echuca travellers, who mostly are jammed into buses at the moment, are still waiting to catch a glimpse of their long-awaited fast track and more trains, but every major rail project across regional Victoria is either stalled for lack of funding or is simply being ignored.
“The Nationals have made it their mission to get the track issues fixed, get trains that can get people going faster and get on with the job of bringing regional Victoria’s rail services into the 21st century.
“The Andrews Labor Government has completely dropped the ball on these trains, and the people along the Echuca line are the ones paying the price.”