North-east Victorians will never have access to Melbourne’s Airport Rail link if crucial upgrades are ignored in the Sunshine Station Masterplan.
Despite the Masterplan still being at the consultation phase, the Andrews Labor Government has unilaterally decided it doesn’t plan to reinstate a standard gauge platform at Sunshine.
The upgrade is a crucial missing link that stops trains on the north east line and XPT trains from Sydney stopping at what will be a central interchange hub for the Airport Rail Link.
Shadow Minister for Public Transport Steph Ryan said without a standard gauge platform at Sunshine Station, V/Line commuters will be further punished by substandard rail infrastructure.
“Labor’s decision is short-sighted and arrogant,” Ms Ryan said.
“Despite no discussion or consultation with the communities affected, Daniel Andrews is pushing forward with a half-baked plan that shuts north-east Victoria off from Airport Rail forever.
“The Andrews Labor Government has made a unilateral decision that will consign north-east Victorian train travellers to a second-rate service for decades to come.”
Currently, North East line and NSW trains pass through but can’t stop at Sunshine on their way to Southern Cross due to the existing platform structure.
Ms Ryan said improvements to regional public transport were a crucial plank in Victoria reopening, rebuilding and recovering from the impacts of coronavirus restrictions.
“No changes at the Sunshine platform will lock north-east Victoria out of Melbourne’s Airport Rail Link, forcing commuters to go all the way to Southern Cross or to take the bus service from Broadmeadows,” Ms Ryan said.
“Regional Victorians have been continually railroaded by the Andrews Labor Government.
“With a standard gauge platform, Sunshine would become a bustling interchange from which regional travellers can readily access Geelong, Ballarat and metropolitan destinations.”