31 August 2016
The Leader of The Nationals and Member for Murray Plains Peter Walsh has presented a petition to the Parliament of Victoria calling for an immediate upgrade of the Echuca to Bendigo train line.
The petition was managed by longtime local rail advocate Terry Nanscawen who travelled the Echuca Bendigo journey inviting passengers to support the petition.
More than 900 commuters willingly signed the petition to support the line upgrade and reduce travel time.
Mr Walsh said that level crossing track works and signals are required to upgrade the line from Class 4 to Class 2 to improve train performance.
“On the 8th December 2015 I put a Question on Notice to the Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan and in addition to lodging the petition I have now written again to the Minister urging her to take action.
“As of today the slow rail speed on the Echuca to Bendigo line remains unchanged and the community is angered that they have once again been ignored by the city centric Andrews Labor Government.
Mr Walsh said long suffering commuters were sick of hearing from the government about their plans potential investment and future growth in modern metropolitan rail while country commuters are subjected to a second rate service on a painfully slow train.
“Echuca commuters were promised solutions from the Regional Network Development Plan and after waiting more than 12 months were bitterly disappointed to find it was a summary of comment from Minister Allan providing no real planning or outcomes for the Echuca Bendigo line.
“Now that the Premier has been shamed into visiting the electorate perhaps he and his Minister might like to schedule additional time into their day and travel to Echuca on the very slow train ” Mr Walsh said.