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Put Murray Basin Rail back on track

Constituency question

November 17, 2020

Tania MAXWELL (Northern Victoria) (12:39): (1520)

My question is for the Minister for Transport Infrastructure, and it concerns widespread dissatisfaction with the revised Murray Basin rail project.

For two years I have worked very closely with Ouyen Inc., which is advanced in planning for the Sunraysia–Mallee–Port Lincoln intermodal.

Ouyen Inc. and a large list of stakeholders recently submitted to the minister a solution to the problem she cited for not finishing the Murray Basin rail project. Their plan enables freight trains to move through Ballarat’s overlap section without affecting the increased passenger train services.

As far back as 8 February 2018 the minister gave an undertaking in Parliament to work with Ouyen Inc. regarding rail opportunities. Today I ask the minister why the government will not accept the $5 million* to examine completion of the Murray Basin rail project in full.

* The federal government in December 2020 committed $5m to advance planning for the full standardisation of the Victorian freight network. The federal offer required the Victorian government to match the commitment.