Funding celebrated

04 May 2017 Shepparton News, Shepparton VIC (General News) by Thomas Moir Rail windfall celebrated Victorian Public Transport Minister Jacinta Allan (centre) is pictured at Shepparton Railway Station yesterday alongside Member for Shepparton Suzanna Sheed and Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes. It comes after the government announced $43.5 million for the Shepparton line in Tuesdays budget, which has been welcomed as a big win for the region. Full story, page 3. SHEPPARTONS RAIL NEEDS NOT FORGOTTEN AS BUDGET DELIVERS GREAT OUTCOME On Sunday, Suzanna Sheed was less than impressed. The State Member for Shepparton had just learnt of the Victorian Governments $1.45 billion regional rail revamp, minus Shepparton. A few days later, and 24 hours after Tuesdays announcement of $43 million for Shepparton rail, things had changed. A jubilant Ms Sheed recalled an exchange with Transport Minister Jacinta Allan following Sundays news as they stood together at Shepparton Railway Station yesterday. On Sunday morning when I saw the news I must say I was in quite a state, Ms Sheed said. I was told by this person (Ms Allan) to settle down, sit tight and wait for the budget. I did that and gosh thats been a great outcome for Shepparton. In Shepparton yesterday to flesh out more detail following Tuesdays state budget, Ms Allan applauded the Shepparton community for taking up the fight for more services. Soon, there would be extra coach services on the Shepparton line while track works opening the door for extra rail services by 2020 started. These are set to remove significant infrastructure barriers preventing more daily train services. Ms Sheed in particular thanked those Shepparton community members game enough to wear pyjamas and cop a lot of flack for that to Parliament to draw attention to the need for more services. Ms Allan said she remembered that visit, but said it was pleasing to see a more clothed Shepparton representation yesterday rather than in sleepwear. That was a really powerful symbol of challenges for those of us who live in regional areas and rely on public transport, to connect us to Melbourne and towns in between, Ms Allan said. Ms Sheed described the funding announcement as the first portion is what is a big project. Ms Allan called it the first stage of critical infrastructure that needed to be done to get your community the step change in public transport services it needs and deserves and this years budget was a big downpayment and outcome. Ms Allan said stabling at the Shepparton end of the line would provide more flexibility, while the current absence of a passing loop at Murchison East had created a choke point that stops additional trains being run on the corridor. Importantly, this will see that when these works are completed by 2020 it will get you to that five return services that your community is looking for but critically, too, the stabling is going to be designed to provide for more than that, Ms Allan said. There might need to be future conversations about what comes beyond this. Ms Allan said ongoing support for more transport options would be ensured while infrastructure works were under way, with an additional coach service from Seymour and a return coach service from Seymour. She said the project would go ahead regardless of whether the Federal Government came to the table, stressing this was Victorian money to get cracking as quick as we could. The Shepparton community has been waiting for quite some time, she said. Caption Text: Not forgotten: Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes (left) and Member for Shepparton Suzanna Sheed celebrate receiving funding for Sheppartons rail services. Licensed by Copyright Agency. You may only copy or communicate this work with a licence.