More trucks could be forced onto already congested suburban streets and damaged regional roads, as the Andrews Labor Government’s rail freight plan is again under a cloud.
Funding for the Mode Shift Incentive Scheme (MSIS) expires on June 30, and once again there has been no commitment from the State Government as to whether it will continue beyond that date.
This program allows for four regional rail freight operators to offer competitive transport options for exporters, encouraging them to make use of rail to get goods to the Port of Melbourne.
But because the Andrews Labor Government won’t give them certainty, freight operators are unable to lock in long-term contracts with exporters.
Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Ports and Freight, Roma Britnell:
“When the Liberal Nationals introduced the MSIS in 2014, it guaranteed $5 million a year over four years to encourage more containerised freight onto rail.
“But since 2018, the Andrews Labor Government has cut $3 million of funding to the MSIS and is relying on a year-to-year funding model which doesn’t provide certainty for the sector.
“If the government was serious about freight rail, it would commit long term to the MSIS and increase its funding – not cut it.”