Derailed Murray Basin Rail Project must be priority for budget revival

Producers and transport stakeholders in north-west Victoria deserve the truth on how the Andrews Labor Government will revive the stalled Murray Basin Rail Project.  

Labor shelved the project after Transport Infrastructure Minister Jacinta Allan squandered the $440 million that was earmarked to deliver it – in full – on cost overruns, inferior rail track and poor contract management.  

Leader of The Nationals Peter Walsh said the Andrews Labor Government’s decision to keep the revised business case secret meant industry had missed an opportunity to provide feedback for funds to be provided as part of this week’s Federal Budget.  

“We have a right to know how the Andrews Labor Government plans to fix its mess,” Mr Walsh said.  

“Only the Andrews Labor Government can decide to release the revised business case, but so far they’ve deliberately kept us in the dark.  

“The Murray Basin Rail Project is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to transform freight rail in our state and to deliver a massive boost to productivity and profitability for our agriculture sector.  

“Daniel Andrews’ hints that Labor is working on a ‘close out option’ have set alarm bells ringing since the Basin Rail is barely half finished due to Labor’s failed project management.  

“Producers and transport stakeholders in north-west Victoria say they’ve been left worse off than before work started, after Labor’s cost blowouts, missed deadlines, poor procurement and appalling contract management.  

“The lies and cover-ups are the reason regional Victorians have lost confidence in Daniel Andrews and his Labor Government.”  

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