House debates

Monday, 15 June 2020

Statements by Members

Victoria: Rail

4:23 pm

Photo of Damian DrumDamian Drum (Nicholls, National Party) Share this | | Hansard source

I call on the Victorian government to build a designated tunnel from the Southern Cross railway station to West Footscray as an integral part of the Melbourne Airport Rail Link project. To proceed with this project without a designated tunnel out of and into Melbourne's CBD would be a disaster for all Victorians. It will mean putting the six to eight services per hour to the airport in a newly completed Melbourne Metro 1 tunnel in 2026 that is already running at capacity. Every trip to the airport will come at the expense of someone else' trip to Werribee, Melton, Sunbury or somewhere else in the western suburbs. Also, if they build a designated tunnel it will provide for the communities right out to the west and allow for the north of the state to have a genuine service into Melbourne.

Currently, the north-east line is the worst performing line in Victoria. Shepparton is not far behind. Shepparton has five services to Melbourne per day. Bendigo has 23 services, with a similar population service centre. Ballarat has 24 services a day. It's time that Shepparton and the north-east line were given the opportunity to have a similar number of services into Melbourne. All V/Line trips and all Metro trips are heavily subsidised by the taxpayer. About 20 per cent of the running costs of V/Line and Metro are paid at the ticket box; everything else is paid for by the taxpayer.