RACV has long called for a break in the political impasse on infrastructure between the Federal and State Governments. Today’s announcement of a combined $1.6 billion for regional rail will finally give Victorians a fairer share of the infrastructure carve-up.
“Victorians want a choice in the way they travel, and RACV members have indicated through the RACV On Track survey that they want to see better regional rail services. Major centres such as Ballarat are struggling to keep up with growing demand and regional commuters still face problems with reliability, punctuality and overcrowding on parts of the network.
Likewise RACV members have rated many services in Victoria’s North-East under three out of ten for passenger satisfaction” said Thanuja Gunatillake, RACV’s Manager of Public Transport and Mobility.
The $1.6 billion announced today is a much-needed boost, which will see $10 million for Shepparton services, $20 million for Murray Basin freight rail, $91 million for Bendigo and Echuca services, $95 million for Avon River Bridge upgrades, $110 million for Surf Coast services with an additional $114 million for Warrnambool services, $140 million for North-East services and $555.6 million for Ballarat services. $30 million has also been allocated for airport rail planning – a vital project for the future of Victoria.
“RACV’s budget submission called for Victoria to receive the $1 billion owed as part of the Asset Recycling Initiative, and we are pleased to see this finally being delivered. Today’s Census indicates that Victoria’s population is growing at record highs, and therefore it is paramount that our infrastructure keeps pace” said Ms Gunatillake.