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THE Greens Party has promised $180 million for a rail line extension to Mernda if elected.
Greens lead senate candidate for Victoria Janet Rice and Greens Melbourne candidate Adam Bandt released the party's Fixing Melbourne's Transport plan on Friday, August 30, which prioritises rail investment ahead of roads projects.
The party has allocated a total $1.4 billion for transport projects across Victoria.
Ms Rice said her party's contribution would cover about a third of the estimated $650 million needed to build the Mernda extension.
"The car park at South Morang tells you everything you need to know," Ms Rice said.
"If we build the Mernda extension, it will be action stations the day it opens, which will free up congestion on the roads.
"I've watched generations of governments fail to deliver the Mernda rail extension, so I want to walk into parliament in Canberra with a plan in my hands that can be implemented right away."
The party also promised $1 billion for the Doncaster rail project and $100 million to kick start improved train signalling across the Melbourne network which is expected to double the capacity of the existing tracks.
McEwen federal election candidates Bruce Stevens (Katter Australian Party) and Trevor Dance (Palmer United Party) also recently pledged to lobby for the extension, if elected.
But South Morang and Mernda Rail Alliance spokesman Darren Peters said the Greens' promise was superior to any of the minor party promises.
"It is a policy in writing stating that they will extend rail to Mernda with $180m attached to it," Mr Peters said.
"No other party in this election has a drafted policy on the Mernda rail extension with funds committed to seeing it extended.
"To have the party that holds the balance of power in the Senate give such support for this vital infrastructure project will certainly sway votes, considering neither Liberal or Labor have committed funds to the project.
"I think the Greens may capture many protest votes from people who feel that our area has been ignored.''
This article first appeared on www.heraldsun.com.au
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