The future rail needs of the eastern suburbs continue to be ignored by both the Labor and Liberal parties while $700 million was this week pledged to extend the railway from South Morang out to Mernda.

The Eastern Transport Coalition said today that the funding for the Mernda Rail extension, previously promised by the Labor Party and this week matched by the Liberal Government was certainly a worthy project.

“No matter who gets elected, the Mernda community will win, which is great for the Mernda community where public transport is sorely needed,” ETC chairperson Cr Peter Lockwood said.

“But that same level of commitment to public transport is also needed in the eastern suburbs yet to date, it has not been forthcoming.

“Both the Doncaster and Rowvile rail projects have had feasibility studies undertaken, but what is missing is a commitment from both the Labor and Liberal parties to deliver these projects. Only the Greens have given support to these projects.

“The government hasn’t even released the final report of Phase 1 of the Doncaster Rail study more than year after it was due.

“There is no funding committed to either Doncaster or Rowville, and even the Dandenong Rail corridor upgrade, which Rowville Rail is dependent upon, is under a shadow with the coalition this week saying it could not commit to signing off on the project before the State Election.

“Based on the information the government has provided to date, Rowville Rail is at least another decade away, compared with Labor’s promise to build the Mernda extension in its first tem if it wins the election.”

Cr Lockwood said voters in the eastern suburbs deserved the same timely commitments to improve public transport as was being seen in other parts of Melbourne.