Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester is seeking an urgent update regarding timelines to upgrade Gippsland train services.
Mr Chester secured $504 million in federal government funding when he was Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, toward a $530 million rail infrastructure upgrade.
Mr Chester said Gippslanders were keen to see the works completed so they could enjoy the benefits of faster train services linking towns in our region.
“I have written to the federal and state transport ministers seeking an urgent update regarding the timeframes to complete this work,” Mr Chester said.
“Better rail connections and improving the frequency, reliability and speed of the Gippsland train service is a key local issue and has been raised many times by the local councils in my electorate.
“Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack, who is also the Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, was in Gippsland and heard first-hand from local community leaders about the importance of the Gippsland rail upgrades to improve local train services.
“While the Federal Government has committed the bulk of the funding, train services and rail infrastructure belong to the state government and the project management falls entirely within the jurisdiction of the state.”
Mr Chester has called on both the federal and state transport ministers to do all they can see the works expedited for completion as quickly as possible.
“I’ve asked the State Minister for Transport Infrastructure, Jacinta Allen, for her support to see works undertaken as soon as possible,” Mr Chester said.
“Gippslanders want to see this work done. The funding was allocated in early 2017, but we haven’t seen a lot of progress on the ground, which is leading to growing angst within my community.”