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Peter Walsh MP:
Buck stops with Victorian Labor on stalled Murray Basin Rail Project

Minister Jacinta Allan is attempting to rewrite history by handballing blame for the stalled Murray Basin Rail Project to the Federal Government.

By Portal Admin - 12th October 2020 - Back to News

Victorian Transport Infrastructure Minister Jacinta Allan is attempting to rewrite history by handballing blame for the stalled Murray Basin Rail Project to the Federal Government.

Ms Allans claims in media reports today that Victoria has been let down by the lack of Federal Budget funds to restart the stalled Basin Rail couldnt be further from the truth.

Leader of The Nationals Peter Walsh said producers and transport stakeholders are at their wits end with the constant excuses from the Andrews Labor Government.

"Jacinta Allans crocodile tears arent fooling anyone. The Andrews Labor Government was handed a fully-funded project and botched it, leaving our north-west producers and stakeholders saying theyre now worse off than when the project started," Mr Walsh said.

"Rumours have been circulating for months that Jacinta Allan is seeking a cheap exit strategy because her failed mismanagement has blown out the total cost of the project from $440 million to more than $1 billion.

"Producers and stakeholders should already be reaping the benefits of more efficient links to Melbournes port, but instead were left with a barely half finished mess."

A Victorian Auditor-General Office report on the Andrews Governments failed handling of Basin Rail found "completion of the MBRP is a year overdue, with over twice the original budget now estimated as necessary to complete the project to its original approved scope" (VAGO, p33).

Mr Walsh said Ms Allan must come clean on how the Andrews Government will fix its mess by releasing the revised business case for consultation.

"Minister for Excuses Jacinta Allans arrogant attempt to rewrite history by passing the buck to the Federal Government doesnt pass the pub test," Mr Walsh said.

"Producers and stakeholders in north-west Victoria will never forgive the Andrews Labor Government for blowing this once-in-a-generation opportunity to upgrade and standardise the freight rail network.

"Better freight rail infrastructure will transform our agriculture sector, but its failures like this that have seen regional Victorians lose confidence in Daniel Andrews and his city-centric Labor Government."


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