Labor’s Minister for Agriculture and Regional Development, Jaclyn Symes refuses to even advocate for the release of the full revised Murray Basin Rail Project business case
Questioned in the Upper House of Parliament today whether she would act to advocate for and insist upon the release of the full revised Murray Basin Rail Project business case Ms Symes, flatly refused to do so.
VFF Grains Group President Ashley Fraser and Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack have both called for the release of the full revised business case and Mr Fraser has indicated that in withholding the business case the Government risks condemning the project to years of further delays and setbacks.
Mr Fraser has said, “The ball is in the court of Minister Allan and the Victorian Government”.
But all this is water off a duck’s back for the Minister for Agriculture, who appears to have no regard for the interests of agricultural producers in Victoria’s north-west and whose rationale for keeping the business case secret was that the Commonwealth Government had not contractually required its release.
Protecting its incompetent Minister for Transport Infrastructure, Jacinta Allan, who botched the Murray Basin Rail Project forcing the Government to once again go cap in hand to the Commonwealth, is clearly a higher priority for the Andrews Labor Government than getting north west Victoria’s food and fibre to market more efficiently.
Jaclyn Symes made clear today that the only circumstance where the revised business case would have been made public is if the Commonwealth Government had contractually required the Andrews Government to do so.
Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Transport Infrastructure, David Davis:
“The Andrews Labor Government could make the full business case public today – and should do so. Given the botched process overseen by Jacinta Allan and Labor, who can trust them without seeing the full details of the revised business case.
“In the inadequate redacted summary document, Labor make clear it planned to scale back the project, particularly the standardisation of some lines, with the result of a seriously inferior project.
“Labor’s half-baked Murray Basin Rail Project is not good enough and the secrecy of Jacinta Allan and Labor does little to inspire trust given their earlier blunders.”
Comments attributable to Leader of The Nationals, Peter Walsh:
“Minister for Excuses Jacinta Allan has spent the past few months spinning a web of lies to producers and transport stakeholders who expected Labor to stick to its promise to finish the Basin Rail, in full.
“Jacinta Allan’s mismanagement left the project out of money and a barely half finished mess.
“Why is the Andrews Labor Government deliberately keeping the full revised business case under lock and key?”