VICTORIAN Public Transport Minister Jacinta Allan has sent out a call to arms to local North East rail key stakeholders to join her and the State Government lobbying for $235 million to bring the line up to class 2 standard.
That’s an increase of $135 million on the current $100 million already earmarked for the repair.
Ms Allan was joined by Jaclyn Symes (MLC, Northern Victoria) at a briefing on the current status of the highly criticised line in Benalla on Monday morning, with representatives from Wangaratta and other local councils, rail lobby groups, Cathy McGowan (MHR, Indi) and Coalition MPs Tim McCurdy (MLA, Ovens Valley), Steph Ryan (MLA, Euroa) and a representative from Bill Tilley’s (MLA, Benambra) office.
Ms Allan revealed the State Government had already put in a proposal with the new Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Michael McCormack to upgrade the track to class 2 standard and more than double the funding allocated.
The proposal was based on information from analysis last year by a Commonwealth and Victorian Government steering committee, including Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC), Public Transport Victoria and V/Line.