WESTERN Victoria MP Simon Ramsay has called on the State Government to release the financial data hidden from a feasibility study on a potential Drysdale-to-Geelong passenger rail.
Mr Ramsay accessed the report through a Freedom of Information Act request and said it was crucial to investigate the Bellarine Peninsula’s transport options to plan ahead for the future of its growing communities.
“When Shadow Minister for Transport David Hodgett visited earlier this year, we foreshadowed that the Napthine Government had done a feasibility study and we were going to put out a Freedom of Information request to have the study released to the community,” he said.
“We lost government prior to the release of the document and it was only a month ago through the FOI process that we could get the copy, with all the financials redacted.
“The fact that there is no financial information there indicates it may well have merit, except the Labor Government doesn’t want to invest rail on the Bellarine.
“I intend to follow through and get the financials so we can see a proper assessment of the merits to provide that rail from Drysdale to South Geelong.”
Mr Ramsay said Member for Bellarine Lisa Neville had revealed the document to the media last week after learning that he intended to release it to the community at Drysdale.
“We were planning to present the document to the community this week, but obviously Lisa Neville got wind of this and rushed out a public release for the report,” he said.
“She has lied to the media, saying the report was done in secrecy, when the community had asked us to do the feasibility study in the first place and it was included in the budget.
“The Member for Bellarine says she wasn’t aware the community had asked for it, but I suspect the fact that she doesn’t live in her electorate or have an office in the electorate has something to do with that.
“Ms Neville is totally disengaged with the people she’s meant to be represent and she’s hit the panic button when she realised I was going to release this document to the community.”