NORTH East voters could go to this year’s election not knowing when a re-elected Labor Victorian government would order new trains for the Albury track.
Transport Minister Jacinta Allan has declined to answer a Border Mail question on whether Labor will announce an order date for new trains before November’s election.
That follows Benambra MLA Bill Tilley ridiculing Labor in parliament last week for not having ordered fresh rolling stock.
“The staff who have argued to replace the clunkers have been shouted down by the 'We think big' Treasurer and his cronies, including the Sultana of Spin who heads up this portfolio.”
Mr Tilley cited a letter from Federal Transport Minister Michael McCormack in response to North East Labor MP Jaclyn Symes which stated the track upgrade had “completion scheduled to occur in 2020-21”.
“On that note, make a commitment, not a promise, of some substantial meaning for those passenger rail travellers into the future,” Mr Tilley urged Labor.
Ms Allan told The Border Mail “we’ve said a number of times – the trains will be ready once the track is upgraded”.
She attacked Mr Tilley’s record on the North East line.
“Mr Tilley had many opportunities to deliver a much needed rail upgrade for his local community and did nothing – it was only Labor who had the fight and secured the funding to give North East line passengers a more reliable service,” Ms Allan said.
“Now all he can do is continue to pursue this petty politics.”
The Coalition has vowed to order new V/Locity trains for the line in June 2019.