Jul 15, 2014

Labor welcomes Regional Rail Link upgrades

Labor welcomes tomorrow’s reopening of the Ballarat train line marking the completion of a package of major works funded by the former Labor Government as part of its historic Regional Rail Link project.

From tomorrow Ballarat trains will progressively begin to use the new V/Line-only tracks connecting with the metropolitan rail network at Footscray and Southern Cross Station.

The former Federal Labor Government provided $3.2 billion funding for the Regional Rail Link – the largest Commonwealth investment in urban public transport in Australia’s history.

The Regional Rail Link is Melbourne’s first new major rail line for 80 years.

Victorians are already enjoying benefits that come from federal and state governments working together to fund urban public transport, such as the removal of a level crossing in Sunshine saving 25,000 drivers waiting time every day.

When complete, Regional Rail Link will provide capacity for an extra 23 metropolitan services during each morning and evening peak period, allowing more Victorians to use sustainable public transport.

Against expert advice, Tony Abbott has cut $3 billion from the Melbourne Metro project as part of his first Budget. That decision will hurt Australia’s economic growth and cost jobs.

Congestion is a handbrake on the economy, currently costing Australia $13 billion every year, making people’s commutes longer and hampering productivity.

Labor believes in Commonwealth Government investment in an integrated transport system that includes both road and rail.