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The chance to shape Geelong’s transport future will be top of the agenda when the Geelong Fast Rail Reference Group holds its inaugural meeting today.
As work gathers pace on the proposed link between Geelong and Melbourne, the Andrews Labor Government has established a local reference group to help Rail Projects Victoria assess fast rail options as part of the Western Rail Plan.
The Reference Group will be chaired by Member for Geelong Christine Couzens and include community representatives living in and around Geelong, along with stakeholders from councils, businesses, transport users, indigenous groups and educational institutions.
Seven of the 18-strong Reference Group are community representatives selected through an online Expression of Interest process late last year, and have strong links with the area.
A fast rail link from Geelong to Melbourne would slash travel times between Victoria’s capital and its second city.
The Labor Government has committed $150 million for the Western Rail Plan, including the full separation of regional and metro services on the Geelong and Ballarat lines – the first step in delivering fast rail to these cities.
The Reference Group will also discuss other major transport projects in the Geelong area, including the essential $736 million Waurn Ponds duplication, which will build 11 kilometres of track between South Geelong and Waurn Ponds stations and remove the dangerous and congested level crossings at Fyans Street and Surf Coast Highway.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan
“We continue to do the planning and community consultation needed to deliver fast rail to Geelong.”
“The expert team behind the Metro Tunnel, Airport Rail Link and the Suburban Rail Loop are working hard to deliver this critical project.”
Quotes attributable to Member for Geelong Christine Couzens
“We’re giving locals a chance to shape how fast rail to Geelong will be designed and delivered.”
“The Reference Group includes representatives from all areas of the community, ensuring local voices are heard as we deliver this massive boost to Geelong services.”
This article first appeared on www.premier.vic.gov.au
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