Fresh ideas to build faster rail services to boost housing and job opportunities in regional and urban areas are being sought by the Federal Government.
Infrastructure and Transport Minister Darren Chester and Urban Infrastructure Paul Fletcher Minister have launched the government’s Faster Rail Prospectus, signalling the start of a process calling for business cases for new or upgraded rail infrastructure that would better link cities and the regions.
Mr Fletcher said business cases must outline initiatives that will increase housing choices by opening up regional areas, encourage job and career opportunities, and improve access to specialist services for people in regional areas, as well as major events.
Federal Member for Murray Damian Drum said the funding had the potential to unlock investment in busy rail corridors such as Shepparton to Melbourne.
‘‘For the many commuters in a region like ours, faster rail has the potential to have a significant impact on quality of life by allowing residents to spend more time at home, and less time travelling,’’ Mr Drum said.
‘‘Residents in Shepparton have been demanding better rail services for years; this is an opportunity for us to get a fast rail service that we need and deserve
‘‘I have spoken in the parliament on a number of occasions about our needs in Shepparton; we now have the opportunity to put forward plans that would significantly improve the commute to Melbourne.’’