More police for the beat

07 Mar 2018 Wangaratta Chronicle, Wangaratta VIC (General News) McGowan, mayor support push, McCurdy slams talkfest IT was a mixed response from some of the stakeholders at Mondays North East rail briefing. Cathy McGowan (MHR, Indi) said she would be looking at the call for the track to be upgraded to class 2 and subsequent lobbying for the extra $135 million. But she also reiterated her call for the public release of the scope of works for the $100 million repair of the line and a stronger commitment from V/Line to improve customer relations in the short term. In response to Ms McGowans request, Jaclyn Symes (MLC, Northern Victoria) said members of the V/Line board would again visit the North East to listen to the concerns of rail users. It was a terrible Christmas period for the North East line and the response from V/Line was inadequate, Ms Symes said. Wangaratta mayor Ken Clarke said if more money was needed then the Federal Government should provide it. Weve been without a reasonable train service for five or six years and if it needs an additional $135 million to bring it up to par then the Federal Government should pay it, he said. Coalition MP Tim McCurdy (MLA, Ovens Valley) said Victorian Public Transport Minister Jacinta Allan continued to blame everyone else for the lack of new trains on the North East line. I had hoped that after the Nationals committed $633 million earlier this week to brand new long haul trains across Victoria if we are elected to government, this would have encouraged the minister to offer something, anything to improve North East rail, he said. However, her visit turned into another talkfest, another non-event with the minister leaving our region without offering a cent to improve our trains and carriages. Match the Nationals and purchase new trains; building trains wont happen overnight, they will take two years to build so stop stalling and make a commitment.Licensed by Copyright Agency. You may only copy or communicate this work with a licence.