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Australian Rail Track Corporation has confirmed the proposed scope of works has been presented to the Monash University’s Institute of Railway Technology for “peer review” before final sign off to enable work to begin on the project due for completion in 2020.
The independent assessment has been welcomed by Border Rail Action Group with the North-East line the only track on the V/Line network being subjected to such scrutiny.
“This was something we voluntarily wanted to do and was a reflection of some of the feedback of some of our stakeholders in the community,” an ARTC spokesman said.
“Any announcement regarding the scope of works is a consideration for the respective federal and state ministers, but ARTC remains highly conscious of the interest of the community on this topic and looks forward to engaging with the community and stakeholders on this project soon.”
BRAG convenor Bill Traill confirmed the “peer review” of the latest works to fix the line and ongoing monitoring of the track was something the group had pushed hard for with former federal transport and infrastructure minister Darren Chester before his demotion late last year.
He has been replaced by Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce in the role.
“This is a very important step in the preliminary planning,” Mr Traill said.
“To have the largely engineering aspects of the project subject to an independent review is welcomed.
“It will be done in stages as inevitably big projects are.
“It is scheduled for completion in 2020, but it’s well known it is already behind schedule.”
Indi MP Cathy McGowan highlighted dramas on the North-East line in the federal parliament on Thursday.
“I tell my community we are making progress,” she said.
She made a special “shout out” to Mr Chester for his efforts in securing the funding, but didn’t repeat her invitation to Mr Joyce to come to Indi for an update on the project.
This article first appeared on www.bordermail.com.au
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