Media Release Regional Development Infrastructure

Labor’s legacy on the botched, stalled Murray Basin Rail Project

Tuesday 18 June 2019

Labor’s legacy on the botched, stalled Murray Basin Rail Project

Out-of-money and indefinitely on hold: this is the Andrews Labor Government’s legacy for the stalled Murray Basin Rail Project.

Under questioning in Parliament today, Transport Infrastructure Minister Jacinta Allan again arrogantly denied responsibility for botching the major upgrade works instead of committing to finish the project in full.

Leader of The Nationals and Shadow Minister for Regional Victoria and Decentralisation Peter Walsh said Labor’s repeated refusals will leave farmers and transport stakeholders fearing the worst.

“The Minister has completely botched delivery of this Project, creating a wasteful trail of cost blowouts, missed deadlines and appalling contract management,” Mr Walsh said.

“Instead of trying to rewrite history, the Minister should be making full commitments to farmers and freight stakeholders that the remaining stages will be funded and finished as a priority.

“The Basin Rail standardisation is once-in-a-generation opportunity to upgrade north-West Victoria’s rail system, to make it faster for farmers to get produce to the ports and to get more freight off trucks and on to trains.

“The Andrews Labor Government cannot walk away now and leave this project half done.

“It’s an absolute insult that while refusing to fix the mess they’ve made of the Basin Rail project, at the same time Daniel Andrews and his Labor Government are happy to pour billions of extra dollars into Melbourne level crossing removal projects where costs have also over run.

“If they can find the money for Melbourne, then Jacinta Allan and the Andrews Government must cough up the extra funds required to finish the Basin Rail project.”