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In the last parliament sitting week before the 2017-18 State Budget is handed down, Liberal Member for Northern Victoria Wendy Lovell has made further calls for improved rail services for the Greater Shepparton community.
Ms Lovell has been a consistently vocal advocate for the need for improved rail services for the Shepparton line, and during this sitting week called on the Minister for Public Transport to fund a business case for Shepparton line passenger rail service improvements and provide additional services on the line.
“In a pre-budget submission the Greater Shepparton City Council requested the Victorian Government allocate $750,000 from the 2017-18 State Budget to cover the costs of a business case for infrastructure upgrades,” Ms Lovell said.
“Council has also requested that the government give a commitment to increase Shepparton’s rail services to five return services seven days a week.
“These requests are a starting point for the long-overdue process of improving our local rail services.”
The Shepparton region has long been disadvantaged compared to other major regional centres like Geelong, Bendigo and Ballarat when it comes to passenger rail services – yet Shepparton is a fast-growing regional city with potential for significant growth as a regional service and economic centre, which would be enhanced and supported by a modern passenger rail service.
“Our current service is woefully inadequate to meet even the current community needs, and it is a serious impediment to accessing the full potential and growth of the local area, as well as state or nation-wide growth,” Ms Lovell said.
“To bring our area into line with other comparable regional cities, we need to see significant improvements to the line including more services, reduced travel times and modern carriages.
“A study currently being undertaken suggests that these improvements are feasible in the short- to- medium-term and a concurrent economic impact study indicates that the benefits to the local area and wider northern Victoria area will be significant.”

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