Rail freight forgotten in Labor’s budget

Labor’s budget fails to allocate one single dollar to new rail freight investments.

The bungled Murray Basin Rail program is the most notable absentee from the budget papers, with Labor seemingly washing its hands of the project it has so badly bungled – it’s out of money and only half done.

What has been done needs to be ripped up, replaced and there’s no plans to complete the project to its original scope. It will mean more trucks carrying this year’s bumper harvest will be forced onto already crumbling country roads.

The Port Rail Shuttle Network also sits idle – six years after it was first allocated funding, little work has been done and trucks still thunder through Melbourne’s inner-west.

There’s also not a single dollar allocated to build new rail freight infrastructure like intermodals to help farmers and producers get their goods to market efficiently and reducing the number of trucks on our roads.

With record levels of debt and deficit, Labor is not borrowing to build, it’s borrowing to waste.

Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Ports and Freight Roma Britnell:

“When it comes to freight rail, Labor has taken its bat and ball and gone home.

“Rather than try and fix the mistakes the Andrews Labor Government made on the Murray Basin Rail project, a project that would create jobs and ongoing economic prosperity, it has simply ignored it.

“Rail provides an efficient way for producers to get product to market and takes trucks off our crumbling roads, but Labor can’t see the value or simply doesn’t care.”

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