Member for Western Victoria, Gayle Tierney MP has taken the North Shore Station upgrade to Parliament asking the Minister where the money has gone.
Ms Tierney met with Dr Coralie Jenkins, Co-ordinator of the Meet and Greet Group and other members of the volunteer group recently at the North Shore Rail Station to discuss the ‘missing money’ issue and raised it in Parliament this week.
“I ask the Minister for Public Transport to inform the people of Geelong on where this $1.5 million is and when it will be made available for this important project.” Ms Tierney said.
“The previous Labor Government allocated funding through the Department of Transport for this much-needed upgrade.
“However it seems with the change of Government the Coalition has either’ lost’ the money, or they have canned the project without consulting with the Taskforce Group working on the upgrade,” Ms Tierney said
Under the previous Government’s Train Stations as Creative Community Hubs program, the North Shore Station was due to be upgraded.
Under the program a taskforce – including the department, the local community and local businesses was set up, meeting monthly to work on plans for the upgrade.
“Plans have been drawn up for buildings and landscaping and the Department of Transport set aside $1.5 million for these works,” Ms Tierney said.
“But the work will all come to nothing unless the Minister comes up with the money for the planned upgrade.
The North Shore station is the only stop in Geelong, due to the standard size gauge line, for the Overland Train travelling from Adelaide to Melbourne.
“North Shore Station is the first experience visitors leaving the Overland have of Geelong, it is a major gateway to our city and it can’t possibly be a good experience for anyone,” Ms Tierney said.
“There is no phone at the station, no rubbish bin, no toilet, no signage about how to travel into the Geelong city centre and a very small, inadequate shelter.
“This is certainly not the way we want our city presented to interstate visitors.”
“The Meet and Greet Volunteers do a marvellous job of welcoming visitors off the Overland, but it is clear for all to see that this station is far from acceptable,” Ms Tierney said.