Labor derails Murray Basin Rail Project

Tuesday 5 June 2018

 

Multi-million dollar investments by freight businesses in Victoria’s west and north-west have been significantly impacted by Daniel Andrews’ Public Transport Minister Jacinta Allan’s decision to put an indefinite hold on the Murray Basin Rail Project.

Today in State Parliament Question Time, Jacinta Allan couldn’t say when the next stage of the Basin Rail project – upgrades to the Manangatang and Sea Lake lines – will go ahead.

Despite work being scheduled to begin three months ago, stakeholders were notified last week the Basin Rail has been put on hold – indefinitely.

By their inability to manage this project properly, Labor is squandering a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to upgrade and standardise the rail system of north-west Victoria.

Businesses including Pentarth, Qube and Pickering Transport have made multi-million dollar investments based on Labor’s promise to upgrade the Sea Lake and Manangatang line by August this year.

It comes after Jacinta Allan confessed last week at Parliamentary Accounts and Estimates (PAEC) hearings that Labor had secretly shelved plans for the next stage of the Basin Rail project, blaming works hundreds of kilometres south on the Ballarat line for the indefinite delay.

Comments attributable to Leader of The Nationals Peter Walsh

Labor’s derailed the Murray Basin Rail Project at a massive cost to the country businesses that rely on the freight line to get their products to port.

Jacinta Allan is now saying ‘just trust me’, but how can we after she hid the delay for months and refused to tell businesses and communities in western and north-west Victoria her plans to put the project on hold.

Comments attributable to Member for Mildura Peter Crisp

The Premier for Melbourne’s sneaky plan to derail the critical Basin Rail project shows again why Mildura can’t trust this city-centric Labor Government.

The Nationals in government funded the $440 million Basin Rail project and I’ll keep fighting to make sure it’s delivered – in full – so we can get on with the level crossing upgrades that must be done in order to get a passenger service returned for Mildura.

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