On 17 February this year the Geelong Advertiser revealed that the Baillieu government has scrapped the money set aside by the previous Labor government to upgrade North Shore station, Geelong’s only interstate railway station, which services the Overland. North Shore station was one of three Victorian stations the previous Labor state government chose to redevelop into community hubs. A task force was set up and included representatives from the Department of Transport, the City of Greater Geelong and most importantly local residents. However, the Baillieu government has turned its back on the task force and the Geelong community with its decision to scrap the much-needed upgrade of this facility.
The Minister for Public Transport, Terry Mulder, was quoted in the Geelong Advertiser as having said that further spending on the station was not justified when it only served three trains a week in each direction. I have the timetable for the Geelong-Melbourne train services, and I can inform the minister that 108 train services stop at North Shore station per week. Most people in Geelong would know this, but clearly the minister does not. It is particularly concerning that the minister has absolutely no idea how many trains stop at the station yet believes he is in a position to scrap funding that was put aside by the previous government and to ignore the work already done by the task force. All cities want to put their best foot forward, particularly at their entry points, so why is Minister Mulder so determined to have this station remain a shoddy, unwelcoming and unsafe entry point into our great city of Geelong?