More than just quick fix required
07 Mar 2018 Seymour Telegraph, Seymour VIC (Letters) As a born-and-bred North East Victorian, commuter and an MP elected to represent North East Victoria, I can honestly say I just want a decent Albury to Melbourne train service. The fix for the fault-plagued line is two-fold track then trains. The track can only be fixed by the Federal Government, the trains are the states responsibility. The reality is you cant run new trains on the dodgy track we have. The State Government has been negotiating with the Federal Government for increased funding; those discussions are positive, despite our third Federal Infrastructure Minister in three months. I presume National Party State MPs might help ensure the North East Line remains at the top of the to-do list at the Federal level. I wrote to Steph Ryan MP urging her to lobby her National counterparts surely, she has some ins? I havent received a response except what has been reported by the media which would be fine if it was positive. Instead Ive been accused of playing political games, absolving the state of their responsibilities and in some bizarre attempt to discredit my genuine efforts Ms Ryan has claimed I provided the letter to the media before I sent it to her which is utter nonsense and Ive provided evidence to the media to show this is a lie. Ms Ryan was happy to claim it was the National Party that delivered $100 million to fix the track last year. Last week ARTC chief executive John Fullerton during an Estimates hearing confirmed we need much more from the Federal Government. Premier Daniel Andrews has said we stand ready to place an order for new trains when we know the track will be fixed. We cant allocate taxpayers money for new trains to sit in storage. I again call on Steph Ryan to divert her attention to her Federal colleagues, who currently hold the purse strings, to fix the track properly once and for all. Jaclyn Symes, Member for Northern VictoriaLicensed by Copyright Agency. You may only copy or communicate this work with a licence.