Progress on North East line talks

Media Release

DC044/2017

03 March 2017

Joint release with:

Bridget McKenzie

Senator for Victoria

Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Darren Chester today met with the Mayors of Albury and Wodonga to discuss plans to upgrade the North East rail in Victoria.

Mr Chester said the meeting was productive and is looking forward to working with State and Local governments to deliver the improvements the community is seeking.

“Both mayors made very strong representations on behalf of their region about the opportunities to improve the passenger and freight links into their community,” Mr Chester said.

“I assured them that I am working productively with the State Minister for Public Transport, and have received feedback from Nationals Senator for Victoria Bridget Mckenzie, and State Member for Euroa Steph Ryan, about the opportunity for improvements.

“The North East line missed out on a significant upgrade under Labor's previous regional rail program and the Prime Minister has made it clear that he is interested in partnering with States to improve regional passenger services.”

Mr Chester confirmed to the Mayors that he will be travelling along the North East line at the soonest availability, subject to Parliamentary commitments.
“I am looking forward to travelling the North East line and experiencing the service myself,” Mr Chester said.

Senator Mckenzie said the communities of North East Victoria were in regular contact with her about the opportunities for further investment in the region.
“The adequacy of passenger rail services between Albury/Wodonga and Melbourne is an issue for residents along the route,” Ms Mckenzie said.

“I have met with many community groups and had discussions with Minister Chester and I am confident we will be able to achieve some improvements in the years and months ahead.

“I understand that the community is frustrated by the delays but this is a positive development.”