Joint Council push to get passenger rail services back on track

Published on 15 February 2018

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Mildura, Yarriambiack and Buloke Councils will join forces in a joint advocacy campaign to return passenger rail services to the region following a meeting in Ouyen this week.

Mildura Mayor Mark Eckel, Deputy Mayor Ali Cupper, Councillor Greg Brown and CEO Gerard José met with delegations led by Yarriambiack Shire Council Mayor Graeme Massey and Buloke Shire Council Mayor David Pollard on Tuesday.

The positive talks resulted in in-principle support from all parties for a joint advocacy campaign in the lead up to the 2018 Victorian Election, and a commitment to undertake a feasibility study into the return of a passenger rail service.

The meeting was the latest in an ongoing push to return passenger rail services to communities along the Mildura-Maryborough rail corridor, driven by Council’s Mildura Future Ready advocacy and funding strategy, which lists the passenger rail service as one of four key initiatives.

Cr Eckel said this week’s meeting was a positive step forward.

“At this week’s meeting in Ouyen, representatives from each Council spoke unanimously in favour of the social and economic benefits of returning passenger rail to their communities,” Mildura’s Mayor said.

This week’s meeting follows recent talks between Council, the North West Rail Alliance, Member for Mildura Peter Crisp and Victorian National Party Leader Peter Walsh, which resulted in a commitment from Mr Walsh to help finance the feasibility study into the return of passenger rail services.

Cr Eckel said it was vital to continue to build momentum and support from Councils along the rail corridor in the lead up to this year’s State Election.

“The next step will be to receive feedback from other Councils along the Mildura-Maryborough line, specifically, Central Goldfields and Northern Grampians Shire Councils,” he said.

A follow-up meeting is planned for Birchip in the near future.


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