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A $15 billion Opposition plan to bring 200km/h trains to Victoria’s regions has been dismissed by the state’s Labor Government.
Liberal leader Matthew Guy last week outlined Coalition plans to upgrade and rebuild much of the V/Line network, and order two new fleets of trains, to bring ‘European style’ fast rail to the state.
Guy toured the state last week to promote the commitment, ahead of the election in November.
His plans were criticised heavily by the incumbent Labor Party.
“Guy’s rail plan has more holes than Swiss cheese,” transport minister Jacinta Allan said. “With a history of cuts and closures, regional Victorians are right to be doubtful [of the Liberals].”
Labor criticised Guy’s announcement for its lack of detail in certain areas.
A press release from Allan’s office criticised the Coalition for, “admitting the plan needs tunnels but [being] unable to say where they will be or how long they will be,” noting Labor’s estimate that a rail tunnel costs roughly $1 billion to build, “even more for V/Line diesel trains with the additional exhaust and safety measures”.
It further criticised the plan for “promising that no house or land acquisition would be required … despite needing new, straighter rail corridors to deliver the plan”.
Latrobe Valley tipped for rail authorityUndiscouraged by Labor’s comments, the Liberals on Friday announced the High Speed Rail Authority it plans to establish would be based in the Latrobe Valley for the duration of the project’s 10-year delivery phase.
“High speed rail will be for regional Victorians by regional Victorians, and not Melbourne bureaucrats,” the party said.
“Our record investment in strategic infrastructure to decentralise our jobs and our population will create tens of thousands of jobs for Victorians and opportunities for businesses and local suppliers.”
This article first appeared on www.railexpress.com.au
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