Member of Lions Club – State Parliament
Today’s announcement that preliminary works will commence on the new Avon River Bridge at Stratford is good news for Gippsland train travellers on the back of the Liberal-Nationals’ commitment last week to replace all long haul rolling stock if elected in November, according to Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull.
“While it is pleasing to hear crews will dig boreholes and test pits near the Avon River Bridge and at other sites along the Gippsland line, what we do need is for a firm timeframe to be set, particularly given the Government’s comment today that it intends to ‘prolong the life of the Avon River Bridge’.
“In Parliament I have continually requested a firm timeframe since my Federal colleague, Darren Chester announced the $95 million to replace the bridge.
“But here the Minister is saying they are going to prolong the life of the bridge, that the existing long-haul carriages will be replaced with the VLocity fleet and that approvals ‘are likely to take some time’.
“Having these VLocity carriages run to Bairnsdale would be great if they were additional services, but not as a replacement for the existing long-haul fleet, which despite its age, offers features such as a buffet and first-class seating.”
Mr Bull said today’s news followed the recent announcement from the Liberal-Nationals, who have committed to replacing all long-haul rolling stock on country lines, including the Bairnsdale line, if elected in November.
“Our new train sets will be more reliable, larger and faster purpose-built long-haul services that have a buffet service and air conditioning that works, helping make them more comfortable,” he said.
Caption: Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull, has questioned this morning’s announcement from the Andrews Labor Government that it intends to prolong the life of the Avon River Bridge with still no firm date for its replacement.
Wednesday, March 14, 2018