Election promises by Prime Minister Scott Morrison for fast rail services to Geelong are a good start to the bold transport infrastructure planning needed in Victoria according to Transport Matters Party leader and Eastern Metro MP Rod Barton.
Mr Barton said fast rail connecting all our major regional cities to Melbourne should be a priority for our transport infrastructure.
“Geelong, as Victoria’s second largest city, is a good start. Bendigo, Ballarat, Shepparton, Wodonga and Bairnsdale should be included in a 10 year fast rail plan, with a vision to extend beyond these major centres within 20 years, ” said Mr Barton.
This week Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced an election promise to build a high-speed rail line to Geelong, which would slash travel times to Southern Cross to just 32 minutes.
The state government’s $1.75 billion Regional Rail Revival project is also underway with an upgrade of the Ballarat Line in progress.
“These upgrades need to be reviewed to make sure they’re paving the way for fast rail, not just polishing a dated rail system,” said Mr Barton
“Any expression of interest to design and build the other projects of this revival – Gippsland Line Upgrade, Shepparton Line Upgrade, and Bendigo and Echuca Line Upgrade – must include moving these lines to fast rail.
“Getting people in and out of the centre of Melbourne quickly is one of the best infrastructure decisions we could make,” said Mr Barton.
Mr Barton is a strong advocate for public transport and believes strongly in getting people out of cars and onto public transport.
“Melbourne recently hit a population of 5 million we need to change the peoples attitudes toward public transport. We’re a big city now and there needs to be a cultural shift on how we move around the city and state,” he said.