MEDIA RELEASE

17 July 2020

 

Tim Quilty renews calls for funding to reinvigorate Murray Basin Rail Plan

Liberal Democrats Member for Northern Victoria Tim Quilty has backed Member for Mildura Ali Cupper in calling for the completion of the Murray Basin Rail Project (MBRP).

The project has not received a single cent from a $525.8 million joint Federal-Victoria government road and rail money pot announced this week.

Mr Quilty joined Ms Cupper in slamming the decision.

“It’s an absolute joke that a vital project like the MBRP received nothing at all from a half billion-dollar grant scheme,” Mr Quilty said.

“I spoke in Parliament late last year on how the promises of a new era in Victorian rail freight has fallen victim to the Andrews Government’s pathetic fiscal management.

“$440 million of taxpayer money has disappeared down the drain on this project and I am sick of waiting for nothing to happen.

“I call on Premier Daniel Andrews and Prime Minister Scott Morrison to get their heads together to get this project completed.”

Mr Quilty said the MBRP would provide a vital boost to regions hit hard by the ongoing economic downturn.

“The regions are suffering because of city decisions focused on containing COVID-19, destroying jobs like nothing we have ever seen before,” Mr Quilty said.

“The MBRP would be a vital infrastructure boost, creating jobs not only in its construction, but in ongoing cost savings for primary producers getting their products to market.

“Increased efficiencies in freight will lower costs for farmers and enable them to reinvest that money into their businesses in the form of additional jobs or on-farm investment.

“With a bumper harvest coming up, the MBRP repairs and upgrades are needed now more than ever.

“Instead of the Federal Government wasting money on studies of fast rail that will never be built, they should be supporting the vital freight infrastructure of the MBRP instead.”

For more information, contact Graham Springett | 0408 208819