Member for Wannon Dan Tehan has slammed the state government for failing to deliver its commitment to running VLocity trains on the Warrnambool line.
Mr Tehan said when the federal government provided 90 per cent of the funding for the $114 million Warrnambool Line Upgrade, there were expectations that the scope of works would include the ability to run VLocity trains.
But the state's Minister for Public Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan last week confirmed high-speed VLocity trains would not run on the Warrnambool train line anytime soon.
She said the track was in worse shape than originally thought and a second business case would need to be submitted to the federal government at the end of 2021.
Information received from the state government revealed train detection upgrades were required at more than 50 level crossings in order to safely run the high-speed trains between Waurn Ponds and Warrnambool, as well as a further 40 farm crossings.
But those upgrades would only allow the VLocity trains to run at the same speed as the current diesel trains - 115km/h.
Further scope required to allow the VLocitys to travel up to 160 km/h included constructing a stabling facility at Warrnambool, pedestrian crossing upgrades, structural upgrades to track formation and repositioning existing axles counters at 13 level crossings.
Mr Tehan said further scope for a second business case was never suggested or discussed when the initial funding was allocated.
"That has come as a complete surprise," he said.
"It is extraordinarily disappointing that the federal government continues to be the predominate funder of these infrastructure projects into rural and regional Victoria and yet we're solely relying on the state government to deliver.
"The reality for us is we're betwixt and between because we want these projects to be done, we're prepared to fund them, but we are left high and dry if the states say 'we just won't do them'.
"The worry is the community has already had to wait 900 days since the first announcement of VLocity trains. Are we going to be waiting another 900 days?"
Mr Tehan said he was "hell-bent on getting a time frame under which this project will be completed".
"We will use all the powers that we have to do that," he said.
"We are unfortunately restricted by the fact that it is a state run and owned network, so we can't physically pull up sleepers or put new line down but we'll be doing everything we can to get a condensed time frame so that we can deliver better passenger services to the local community.
"We will play our part because we want to deliver for our local communities but I call on the state government to deliver it's end of the bargain, which is the actual works, and do so in the correct time frame.
"The state government is showing that they are inept at project management."
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