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Labor must come clean on axing of Geelong Fast Rail

I call on federal Labor MPs Richard Marles and Libby Coker to come clean on whether the Albanese Government intends to axe the $4 billion Geelong Fast Rail project, backed by $2 billion of Commonwealth funding.With government sources reportedly claiming that faster train services between Melbourne and Geelong were “no longer a priority”, it is incumbent on the Albanese Government to be honest with working families in Geelong and Melbourne’s west.In threatening our region with their $2 billion axe, Richard Marles and Libby Coker are failing to stand up for local families and their public transport needs in this rapidly growing region.Working together, our community fought so hard for safer roads and better train services which is why the former Coalition government delivered majority funding for major projects like the Waurn Ponds rail duplication, the Princes Highway upgrade and Barwon Heads Rd stage 1.Our $2 billion commitment to Geelong Fast Rail was designed to reduce road congestion and travel times, ensuring local residents could spend more time at home with loved ones.  Construction of stage 1 – a new express track between Werribee and Laverton which would cut travel times between Melbourne and Geelong by up to 20 minutes – was scheduled to begin this year.In a Geelong Fast Rail joint announcement between the federal and state governments on 21 November 2020, Premier Andrews said: “When we make a promise, we keep it. We will deliver faster services to Geelong – and shovels will be in the ground in just a few years.”Our community is deeply concerned that the Albanese government, in concert with the Andrews government, is planning to bury this project into the ground.I commend G21 and the Committee for Geelong for calling on state and federal governments to honour their commitment to Geelong Fast Rail, given our region is in “desperate need of major public transport investment.”

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