Friday, 16 August 2013

Media Release - Only a Federal Coaltion Government will fund Yarra Valley Railway in-full and on-time -16 August 2013

Joint Media Release

TONY SMITH MP - Federal Member For Casey


BRUCE BILLSON MP - Shadow Minister For Small Business, Competition Policy and Consumer Affairs


If elected, the Coalition will deliver $3.56 million in federal funding for the restoration of Yarra Valley Railway. Under a Coalition government this project will be completed in 2016, in full and on time.

This commitment comes in the wake of yet another broken promise by the Rudd/Gillard Government. On 7 June 2013, Federal Labor Minister for Regional Australia, Catherine King, visited the historic Yarra Glen railway station to announce funding for the Yarra Valley Railway. But Ms King failed to ensure that the formal authorisation for this funding was finalised before the 2013 election was called and the caretaker conventions prevented the signing of any new government contracts.

The Coalition has identified Yarra Valley Railway as a priority economic development project for the region. The only way to guarantee the full funding of this vital project is through the election of a Coalition government.

Shadow Minister for Small Business, Competition Policy and Consumer Affairs, Bruce Billson said the announcement was great news for the whole region.

“The Yarra Valley Railway has the potential to attract domestic and international tourists to the Yarra Valley,” Mr Billson said.

“This is particularly important in light of the damage caused to the region’s economy by the Black Saturday bush fires.”

The Federal Member for Casey, Tony Smith, said that he has been advocating for the Railway project, which will have a great impact on the local community.

“An enthusiastic team of local volunteers has already demonstrated the project’s potential by restoring a small section of track and getting a carriage into running order,” Mr Smith said.

“The local business community has united around the project and identified it as the number one priority to bring more people into the region, for them to stay longer and for them to return in the future”.

“An influx of visitors will generate economic activity and jobs in the local hospitality and small business sectors throughout the Yarra Valley region.”

The fact that the Rudd Government failed to deliver on its funding commitment before the election caretaker rules came into effect illustrates Labor’s very bad habit of making pre-election pledges that are later broken.

On behalf of the Coalition, Mr Billson and I are proud to make this commitment to a key regional initiative that will increase the tourism profile of the wider region, support community wellbeing and stimulate economic growth”, Mr Smith said.

16 August 2013

Media Contact: Ted Lapkin – mobile 0411 22 1392

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