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The last passenger train to the Wimmera will run until at least 2023, following an announcement by the state government on Tuesday.
A spokeswoman confirmed the service will be funded for the next three years, today being the day the most recent three-month funding agreement was due to expire.
The Victorian government has funded the Overland unilaterally since the South Australian government pulled out of a joint arrangement in December 2018.
"This funding is not contingent on the South Australian government providing any funding, and we will run the train as soon as the border reopens," she said.
Update 12pm: Statement from Lowan MP Emma Kealy
"This news is testament to the amazing community support for the campaign to get this crucial service funded. It has been a long, hard road to get to this point, and I am so thrilled that the people of our region will continue to have access to this much-needed rail service, as they deserve to.
"I congratulate everyone involved in this fight, particularly Marg Millington and the Save the Overland campaigners for their dogged determination to ensure this service continued.
"I am proud to stand with the communities who have campaigned so hard to ensure this railway icon, and western Victoria's only passenger rail service, continues for years to come."
The Overland has received only short-term funding for the past few years, including an inconsequential three-month reprieve earlier this year to extend funding until June 30, despite the fact the service could not run due to coronavirus restrictions.
Ms Kealy said it was now time for the Andrews Labor Government to recognise the need for regular passenger rail services from western Victoria to Melbourne.
This article first appeared on www.mailtimes.com.au
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