My question is to the Minister for Agriculture, Minister Symes.
Minister, the vital Ouyen Intermodal freight terminal project has the capacity to deliver very significant benefits for farmers and the agricultural industry more broadly in our shared electorate of Northern Victoria. This is particularly through substantially reducing the ‘paddock to port’ costs of transporting export-destined products like almonds, citrus, wine, grapes, hay, wheat and barley to Melbourne.
However, the stalling of all activity on the Murray Basin Rail Project has also now severely compromised progress on the Intermodal.
I therefore ask: what specific actions have you undertaken, as Agriculture Minister, to help facilitate renewed progress on the Ouyen Intermodal, particularly in the weeks since the Government’s public confirmation on
20 October that it is no longer prepared to commit to the full completion of the Murray Basin Rail Project?
Minister: will you commit right now to joining with me in meeting with the key proponents of the Ouyen Intermodal at the earliest available opportunity?