Crowdfunding bid for rail’s return fails

SOUTH Gippsland Shire Councillor Meg Edwards suggested council turn to crowdfunding to undertake a study to lobby for the return of rail to Nyora.

She was responding to a motion by Cr Jeremy Rich for council to contribute about $30,000 to an integrated transport study in the 2017-18 budget and make the study a priority project for council and South West Gippsland.

Cr Edwards suggested council could source crowdfunding of up to $5000 and match that funding to undertake a study and lobby government. But her motion did not attract a seconder and so failed, at a recent council meeting.

Cr Rich’s motion was also unsuccessful. He called for council to approach Casey, Cardinia, Baw Baw and Bass Coast shire councils for support, as well as community and business associations, and to make the return of rail a priority project.

Cr Rich was responding to a budget submission from Brian Hess on behalf of the South West Gippsland Transport Group that called for the study.

Cr Rich said, “I’m gobsmacked that we don’t have an integrated transport strategy already.

“Freight is the only way we can get rail back. There is no money in passengers.”

Cr Hill said for the State Government to take action, a study was needed and said $30,000 was a minimal cost to obtain the information.

Cr Alyson Skinner felt the Gippsland Local Government Network, which comprises representatives of all Gippsland councils, was already undertaking the lobbying work Cr Rich suggested.

Cr Lorraine Brunt said such a regional study had been touted before, without the support of other councils.

She said government had promised to extend rail services to Clyde, near Cranbourne, and that had taken 15 years, and felt council could achieve other projects.

Transport advocate Cr Andrew McEwen backed the study, saying congestion on the Monash Freeway was already excessive.

Council ultimately voted not to take any action.

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=21603

Posted by on Jun 14 2017. Filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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