National’s Senator for Victoria, Bridget McKenzie welcomed a decision by Transport Minister Darren Chester to ride the North East rail line to see at first hand the problems facing the rail link.
‘‘I have held meetings with many of the councils affected by this appalling rail line, including Benalla, Wangaratta, Beechworth and Wodonga,’’ Senator McKenzie said.
‘‘They told me this is one of the biggest issues throughout the north east and had been for many years.
The councils agreed to a united front to get action on the rail line that is affecting entire communities and has done so for a very long time.
‘‘This has been at the top of the to do list of local National’s MPs and community members, but at the bottom for successive state Transport Ministers.
‘‘Darren Chester is a can-do minister and I am very pleased that he has agreed to see the line at first hand and hear of the problems facing people and businesses throughout the north east.
‘‘I have written to State Transport Minister Jacinta Allan, as the responsible Minister, to urge her to do the same.
‘‘She has to see, at first hand the effects of severe, constant delays and disruptions throughout the whole region.
‘‘It is no wonder after so long and constant buck passing that communities feel neglected with an inadequate and underfunded rail network.
‘‘Mud holes and severe speed restrictions have left the service in an extremely bad state. This is not a 21st century service.
‘‘There is no way I will walk away from this massive problem for the people of Indi, it’s a problem that has worsened over the years.
‘‘It must be fixed for the local train travelling public now and into the future.’’