25 March 2019

State Labor must urgently get on board fast rail for Geelong

State Labor must get on board fast rail and start moving on the Geelong rail duplication project.

Last Friday, I was delighted to join Prime Minister Scott Morrison to announce our Government will deliver in our Budget $2 billion for fast rail between Geelong and Melbourne, cutting the 80km journey in half to 32 minutes.

I am calling on State Labor to urgently match this funding and finalise its business plan for fast rail.  For the past four and a half years, it has done nothing to fix the delays and over-crowding caused by the poorly designed Regional Rail Link.

Only the Liberals will deliver fast rail for Geelong and Corangamite.  As he made clear in his media conference of last Friday, Bill Shorten does not support fast rail for our region.

I also again call on the State to urgently fast track works on the Geelong rail duplication project which involves the construction of a duplicated track between South Geelong and Waurn Ponds, the upgrade of the South Geelong, Marshall and Waurn Ponds stations and the planning of services for Armstrong Creek including a new Armstrong Creek station.  Last Friday night, commuters were left stranded at Waurn Ponds station and the single line track frequently means services are delayed or cancelled.

I am proud to have led the charge in funding the Geelong rail duplication project, delivering $150 million which was eventually matched by Labor.  More funding is required but Labor must urgently commence Stage 1 works which involves the construction of a second platform at Waurn Ponds and a duplication of a section of the line.  It is unacceptable that almost three years after our government delivered planning funding for this project, construction has still not commenced.

Labor needs to stop playing politics and get on with delivering faster and more reliable rail services which Corangamite residents so deserve.

25 March 2019