The Andrews Labor Government is again trying to spin its botched Murray Basin Rail Project as a triumph, when in reality it’s half done and what has been done was completed so badly it needs to be ripped up and done again.
This latest round of funding, the bulk of which is being provided by the Federal Government, is simply fixing Labor’s mistakes – it won’t deliver anything new and won’t go anywhere near completing the project to its full original scope.
When this $244 million work is completed, not one extra kilometre of the line will be converted to standard gauge – the original project would have had the whole freight network standardised, increasing efficiencies for producers.
Labor can spin all it likes, but the truth is this latest round of funding is simply fixing up mistakes on a project it managed.
Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Ports and Freight, Roma Britnell:
“The Andrews Labor Government can spin all it likes, but when this latest round of work is done – half the freight network will be exactly as it was before.
“Minister Jacinta Allan says the benefits of the project are already being seen, but the Victorian Farmers Federation says more than 10,000 extra B-Double trucks will be needed for this year’s grain harvest because the rail freight network is in such bad shape.
“The Port of Portland will remain isolated from grain growing regions in the north of the state because Labor isn’t using this money to finish the job, it’s using it to fix its stuff-ups. That’s despite the Premier standing on the dock in 2015 saying how this project would deliver huge benefits to the Port.
“Once again Labor has shown it can’t manage a major infrastructure project. It’s overdue, over budget and won’t deliver what was promised.”