The State Government’s $130 million plan to upgrade the Ballarat line which was expected to boost local services has come under fire.
Revealed prior to the 2018 state election, the plan included the Freight Passenger Rail Separation Project which was set to deliver a number of track and signalling improvements not included in the Murray Basin Rail Project, as well as providing the infrastructure to support a boost in passenger rail on the Maryborough line and allow the return of passenger rail to Dunolly.
The project included converting existing broad-gauge track between Ballarat and Maryborough to dual gauge, enabling future passenger rail to Dunolly by retaining the dual gauge connections between Maryborough and Dunolly and creating separate paths for passenger and freight lines, including Maryborough services.
The then Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan announced the project during a visit to Maryborough in July last year and although she did not provide a timeline for when passenger services would begin in Dunolly, said a final timeline would be released.
Member for Ripon Louise Staley and Shadow Minister for Metropolitan Public Transport and Transport Infrastructure David Davis were in Dunolly last week and expressed concerns over the government’s “radio silence” on the plan.
For more on this story see Page 5 of The Advertiser, Tuesday, October 8