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Scenic Railway To Boost Tourism In The Yarra Valley

Steam trains will return to the Yarra Valley for the first time in 40 years with a re-elected Andrews Labor Government to invest in a scenic railway that will create jobs and boost tourism in the region.

volunteers

Some of the wonderful volunteers working on the project

‘This is a massive shout out to all the volunteers who have worked so hard to bring the project to this point. I commend them and the work they’ve done so that the Yarra Valley can benefit in so many ways from their work,’ said Sally Brennan, the Labor candidate for Eildon.

The 14-kilometre Yarra Valley Railway will run between Yarra Glen and Healesville, connecting the two largest tourist towns in the region.

Visitors will be able to ride an historic steam train between the towns, stopping at restored railway stations and historic work sheds, as well as wineries and a local museum. The Railway will also connect to the Yarra Valley Rail Trail so cyclists can board the train at various points along the route.

Local residents, community groups and businesses have raised $2.74 million towards the project, which is the largest volunteer infrastructure project in Australia.

‘Locals have put their blood, sweat and tears into building the Yarra Valley Railway. It’s an amazing community effort and only Labor will make sure it gets finished and steam trains return to the Yarra
Valley once more,’ Ms Brennan said.

More than 500 individual volunteers, 10 community groups and more than 100 local businesses have given their time, expertise and materials to make this project happen.

This includes the donation of more than 5,000 tonnes of stony ballast and 17.5 kilometres of steel track from the Andrews Labor Government’s level crossing removal projects.

The first stage of the railway project is almost finished, including the restoration of station platforms, buildings and railway yards at Yarra Glen and Tarrawarra Railway Stations, 16 railway bridges and nine kilometres of track.

photo of the steam train

Photo taken 1 December 1963 by Weston Langford.

This is an amazing community project and only Labor will fund the $3.75 million the Yarra Valley Railway organisation is seeking to finish the job.

A re-elected Labor Government will provide this grant for the second and final stage of works, which includes redeveloping the historic Healesville Railway Station precinct and upgrading the remaining four kilometres of railway track and bridges from Healesville to Tarrawarra Estate.

This will allow steam trains carrying up to 600 passengers to run between Yarra Glen and Healesville, with more than 250,000 visitors expected to ride the tourist train each year.

The Yarra Valley Railway organisation expects the project to generate $30 million for the local economy and create around 120 jobs.

TAFE

We promised to rescue TAFE, and we have.

Now, we’re making it bigger and better than ever before.

Free TAFE for Priority Courses will give more Victorians the chance to study at TAFE.

More than ever, the skills we need to build our state are learned at TAFE.

Free TAFE for Priority Courses will reduce the financial barrier for students wanting to train in courses that lead to jobs in demand from Victorian employers.

From 1 January 2019, Free TAFE for Priority Courses covers tuition fees for priority courses for students who are eligible for government-subsidised training. This includes:

  • 30 priority non apprenticeship courses
  • 20 Victorian apprenticeship pathway courses (sometimes called pre apprenticeships) TAFEs may take enrolments in 2018 for Free TAFE for Priority Courses that begin in 2019.

Find out more at https://www.vic.gov.au/freetafe/free-tafe.html

Regional Passengers to Benefit From Rail Loop

30 August 2018

The Suburban Rail Loop will deliver big benefits for regional Victorians with better connections for locals to jobs, education, hospitals and tourism.

A re-elected Andrews Labor Government will embark upon the biggest transformation of public transport in Australia’s history, with a new underground rail network set to circle Melbourne connecting every major regional train line from the Geelong line to the Gippsland line through Melbourne Airport.

The project will mean regional passengers won’t have to travel right into Melbourne to access world-class education and health services, with Melburnians also set to have easier access to all regional Victoria has to offer.

Regional rail users from all over Victoria will also be closer to Melbourne Airport via a regional super hub in Sunshine – a service that’s set to be even faster with the potential for a high-speed rail link to the regions.

A re-elected Labor Government will provide up to $5 billion towards the construction of the Melbourne Airport Rail Link, enabling the Sunshine and the Melbourne Airport section of the Suburban Rail Loop to start by 2022.

Solar Homes Package

We’re putting solar panels and hot water systems on Victorian homes to help families save hundreds of dollars a year on their electricity bills.

A re-elected Andrews Labor Government will help Victorians save around $890 a year on their power bills with half price solar panels at no up-front cost.

Labor is putting power back in the hands of Victorian households with the new Solar Homes program, which will see solar panels installed on 650,000 homes over ten years.

Under the $1.24 billion program, Victorians will be able to install a solar panel system for half price and pay the rest of the cost back over four years with an interest-free loan.

This will save the typical Victorian household up to $2,225 for installation of an average 4kW solar system and help them save $890 a year on their electricity bills.

A re-elected Andrews Labor Government will also provide half price solar batteries for 10,000 Victorian households that already have solar panels to help them save even more on their electricity bills.

Eligible homeowners will be able to save up to $4,838 on installation of a battery storage unit. This will save households with an average 11kwH battery around $650 a year on their electricity bills in addition to savings they are already making with solar panels.

Under the scheme, homeowners can get a 50 per cent rebate for installation of a battery storage unit, capped at $4,838 in the first year and tapering down to $3,714 by 2026 as the price of batteries comes down.

Not all homes can have solar panels installed because of issues such as roof design or shade, which is why the Labor Government is also providing a $1,000 rebate on solar hot water systems as part of the Solar Homes program. It means Victorians who can’t install solar panels will still be able to save hundreds of dollars a year on their electricity bills.

From today, Victorian households can replace their old hot water system with a new solar system and get $1,000 back off the cost via a rebate. This will save the average Victorian household between $160 to $400 a year off their electricity bills.

A new independent agency, Solar Victoria, will be established to work with industry, regulators and training organisations to deliver the Solar Homes program, which will create almost 5,500 new jobs.

Safety is paramount, and a re-elected Labor Government will invest $9 million to support accreditation of 4,500 electricians to install solar panels. Solar panel systems will only be installed by accredited solar installers using approved products to ensure the highest safety standards.

Find out more at http://www.solar.vic.gov.au.

Mt Buller – Water Storage

Sally hit the slopes with Anthony Carbines MP, Parliamentary Secretary for Energy, Environment & Climate Change, to mark the opening of the snow season and announce $7.5 million for the Mt Buller Water Storage Project.

We’re building a 100 megalitre storage facility to provide water for drinking, firefighting and snowmaking in our popular alpine resort.

Construction of the water storage facility will encourage further private investment at the Mt Buller and Mt Stirling Alpine Resorts, which are popular year-round for biking, 4WD adventures, trail running, music festivals, and food and wine events.

Boosting regional tourism, supporting local jobs and developing sustainable industries. That’s what we’re about.

© 2018 Copyright - Sally Brennan