- Labor’s $95,000 study is a joke without commitment to Murray Basin Rail Project
- Labor don’t understand infrastructure & transport needs of regional Victoria
- Labor will cut the country
Labor’s claims today to care about freight logistics around Ararat is completely contradicted by its own policy to scrap Victoria’s biggest freight rail project, The Nationals campaign spokesperson Peter Walsh said today.
Labor says it will “provide Ararat Rural City with $95,000 to undertake a feasibility study and build the case for Ararat to become a major freight and logistics hub”.
Local Labor candidate Daniel McGlone even rightly says: “Freight is one of our state’s leading industries. If Ararat can claim its place in the regional supply chain, we can create local jobs.”
“Labor wants to rip-up $220 million freight rail project and replace it with a $95,000 feasibility study,” Mr Walsh said.
“Labor says they understand the importance of freight to local jobs, yet they will tear up the landmark $220 million Murray Basin Rail Project which will standardise freight rail lines from Mildura to Geelong and deliver huge benefits directly to Ararat.
“The Murray Basin Rail Project will connect north-west Victoria with major export gateways in Portland, Geelong and Melbourne, with billions of dollars worth of produce flowing through Ararat. Around $3 billion worth of food, fibre and minerals is exported from the Murray Basin annually.
“Without the Murray Basin Rail Project and under a Labor government, Ararat will never be a freight hub because vital upgrades to western Victorian rail will never occur.
“Instead, Labor would be forcing more freight onto trucks, ripping up local roads.
“The money for the Coalition’s Murray Basin Rail Project has already been provided for in the 2014-15 budget. If Labor are only going to spend $95,000 on a half-baked feasibility study, there is no doubt they will be spending the remaining $219,905,000 trying to sandbank the city seats from the Greens.
“Labor will cut the country.”