Opinion

Letters to the editor

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August 10, 2017

Member for Northern Victoria Wendy Lovell says the disparity between Shepparton's rail funding and that of other regional areas is a disgrace.

Poor cousins

- Wendy Lovell, Member for Northern Victoria Region

In response to the article ‘More Arrivals’ (Shepparton News, July 27); while the announcement of two extra return weekend train services between Shepparton and Melbourne is welcome, the people of Shepparton need to know the facts relating to where the seat of Shepparton sits within the priorities of the Andrews Labor Government. Of the additional 151 services announced, Shepparton gets only one additional return service Saturday and Sunday.

Let’s compare that to Bendigo and Ballarat which receive 18 new services each per week and Geelong which receives an additional 69 services per week. Ararat will receive an additional 19 services per week and the Gippsland line a further 18 services.

Further proof the Andrews Government cares little for Shepparton is that the $33million allocated in the 2017/18 State Budget for a passing loop and stabling on the Shepparton line will not be delivered until 2018/19 with completion in 2020.

Comparing this to other rail projects in the state — including Gippsland ($530million), Ballarat ($518million), Bendigo/Echuca ($91million), Surf Coast ($110million) and Warrnambool ($200million) — it is clear that the funding for rail in Shepparton is mere tokenism from this Labor Government.

The disparity between Shepparton’s rail funding and that of other regional areas is a disgrace and sadly reaffirms in the minds of the community that our area is viewed as Victoria’s poor cousins in the eyes of Daniel Andrews and this Labor Government.

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