Media Release

30 August 2018

Walsh: Derailed Murray Basin Rail Project still not back on track under Labor

Thursday 30 August 2018

Derailed Murray Basin Rail Project still not back on track under Labor

Labor still hasn’t got the Murray Basin Rail Project back on track.

Transport Minister Jacinta Allan has finally announced the Murrayville to Ouyen freight line is set to reopen – more than six months later than promised.

Work on the Murrayville to Ouyen line was scheduled to begin in August 2017, with the line to shut for five months for standardisation, upgrades and track maintenance.

But the Andrews Labor Government has completely botched delivery of the Murray Basin Rail project, blowing out the budget and the timelines.

Originally scheduled for completion this year, Labor’s poor management has left the project reportedly $100 million over-budget, seen the head contractors sacked, reports that sub-contractors are owed tens of thousands of dollars and pushed the expected completion out to 2020.

This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to upgrade and standardise the rail system of north-west Victoria and make it easier for our producers to get their product to port is at risk under Labor.

Comment attributable to Leader of The Nationals, Peter Walsh:

“Jacinta Allan is desperately trying to cover her tracks and convince Regional Victorians Labor hasn’t utterly botched the Murray Basin Rail Project.

Every time the Andrews Labor Government puts out a press release on the Murray Basin Rail Project we find out it’s been delayed even more.

Only the Premier for Melbourne and his Minister for Excuses Jacinta Allan could inherit a fully-funded, once-in-a-generation project and completely botch the delivery.”

Comment attributable to Member for Mildura, Peter Crisp:

“Producers and businesses in north-west Victoria have been dealt a dud hand by the Premier for Melbourne.

Freight operators and primary producers in north-west Victoria should be reaping the benefits of standardised track and increased freight volumes this year, but under Daniel Andrews it’s off in the never-never.

The Nationals in government funded the $440 million Basin Rail project and I’ll keep fighting to make sure this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity is delivered – in full – so we can get on with the level crossing upgrades that must be done in order to get a passenger service returned for Mildura.”