Warrnambool service upgrade push ahead of meeting

TRAIN TROUBLE: Bill Ermacora, MP Danielle Green and Di Clanchy want a solution to a dispute over funding for a Warrnambool line upgrade. Picture: Morgan Hancock

TRAIN TROUBLE: Bill Ermacora, MP Danielle Green and Di Clanchy want a solution to a dispute over funding for a Warrnambool line upgrade. Picture: Morgan Hancock

Heated discussions about the future of Warrnambool’s passenger rail service were reignited first thing Monday morning, with a state government MP highlighting the issue.

Parliamentary secretary for regional Victoria Danielle Green visited Warrnambool Station from 5.30am to talk to passengers about the train service and the need for improvement.

Following the release of the federal budget last week, the federal and state governments reached a stalemate on funding for a $100 million Warrnambool line upgrade.

Ms Green, who grew up in Warrnambool and used the train service regularly, said it was an important issue to her.

She said regional Victorians were being “ripped off” in federal funding for infrastructure with eight per cent for the state, which represented a quarter of the population.

“I was so incensed that the community I grew up in is still being done over with rail services,” she said.

“The Victorian government is building new carriages. We want to run VLocity trains on this line but we can only do it if we’re assisted with the upgrade of the infrastructure.”

“Dan Tehan, Sarah Henderson and the other Victorian Liberal Party members need to shout louder so their voices are heard.”

She called on the public to contact Coalition MPs and push for a solution ahead of a meeting this Friday of the Transport and Infrastructure Council, which includes all the state, territory and federal transport ministers.

Last week Wannon MP Dan Tehan said it would be years before works to upgrade the Warrnambool line could begin.

The works, which were announced by the state government as part of a $1.45 billion regional rail package, include signalling upgrades and the construction of a crossing loop between Boorcan and Weerite.

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