Federal investment gets Murray Basin Rail Project back on track

A more than $200 million Commonwealth rescue package will revive the Murray Basin Rail Project after it was derailed by the Andrews Labor Government.

The Federal Liberal and Nationals investment, announced today, includes $195.2 million to fix the mess left by Labor’s Transport Infrastructure Minister Jacinta Allan, with a further $5 million for planning for standardisation of the Sea Lake and Manangatang lines.

The Commonwealth is asking for this to be matched with a $5 million investment from the Victorian Government.

The rescue package will see greater oversight to ensure the Andrews Labor Government doesn’t repeat the mistakes that left the transformational upgrade stalled and out-of-money.

Leader of The Nationals Peter Walsh welcomed the Commonwealth’s strong endorsement of the Basin Rail project and called on Daniel Andrews to come to the table with the state’s share.

“Minister for Excuses Jacinta Allan has run out of excuses not to finish this once-in-a-generation project,” Mr Walsh said.

“Incompetent project management by the Andrews Labor Government left the project in tatters and producers and transport stakeholders with a rail network that’s worse than before the project started.

“The Federal Liberals and Nationals have been supportive of this project from day one and I thank Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack for providing this rescue package that will set us on the way to seeing the benefits of Basin Rail – in full.

“But this rescue wouldn’t have been needed if Daniel Andrews and Jacinta Allan hadn’t wasted the original budget on shoddy work.

“The Andrews Labor Government is always quick to plug multi-billion dollar cost blowouts on its Melbourne metro projects. 

“The Federal Government has done the heavy lifting by providing the lion’s share, the Andrews Government now owes it to regional Victorians to do its bit to get this once-in-a-generation project back on track and provide the $5 million needed.”

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