19 September 2018

Speech in Parliament: Labor’s rail fail

I rise today to urge all Corangamite residents to sign a petition, ‘Labor’s rail fail’, on my website, because that’s what we are seeing in the Geelong and Corangamite regions.

In contrast to the very significant amount of Commonwealth money that we have announced for both the Geelong rail duplication project and upgrades on the Warrnambool to Geelong line, which is so important for commuters travelling to Melbourne, we’ve seen a paltry commitment from state Labor and of course no interest in this issue from the member for Corio or any of the Labor MPs in the western part of Melbourne. This is underpinned by one of the worst infrastructure projects that we have seen, because it was so botched by Labor—the Regional Rail Link. This link was meant to provide fast and efficient services between Geelong and Melbourne. It has now principally become a service for areas like Wyndham and Tarneit because of the massive amount of growth. We have slower train services from Geelong to Melbourne than in the 1950s.

Some $4 billion—most of it Commonwealth money, driven by state Labor and the federal Labor government when it was in power—has largely been wasted because the project is so botched. Now we have seen Daniel Andrews make a $147 million commitment to the Geelong rail duplication project only. That is just not good enough. We have $150 million on the table. We have announced this money to spend on upgrading Geelong and Corangamite rail, but we cannot spend it because state Labor has put no money into this project and has decided that it’s only worthy of an election commitment. That’s not good enough. In four years we have received such a small amount of money from state Labor—$20 million—of the total $254 million that we have provided. It is simply not good enough.

This is a very important project to deliver more services, more efficient services and faster rail services. We need fast rail. We have seen the Labor Party focus all of its efforts in metropolitan Melbourne and very little in regional Victoria. It is an absolute Labor rail fail, and that’s why I’m urging all of my constituents to go to my website — sarahhenderson.com.au—and sign my petition to show Daniel Andrews that this is simply not good enough.

19 September 2018