VFF demands timeline on Murray Basin Rail project

The Victorian Farmers Federation is calling on the State Government to “provide certainty” around the future of the Murray Basin Rail Project, which it says has been “plagued” by poor workmanship and slow travel times.

The $440 million rail project was set to be completed by the end of this year, however a number of delays has put the rail line’s deadline in jeopardy.

VFF Grains Group president Ross Johns said that despite assurances from the Victorian Government that a new timeline would be released, completion details are yet to be provided.

“This is a once in a generation opportunity that we can’t risk getting wrong as a result of poor management,” he said.

“Going forward there must be greater oversight by the Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan. It is unacceptable for the Victorian Government to bungle such an important project.”

Mr Johns said an efficient rail network is vital for the Victorian grain industry to remain globally competitive and that the Murray Basin project will facilitate an additional 500,000 tonnes of grain from the Wimmera-Mallee to travel to market each year.

Member for Ripon Louise Staley said the Minister for Public Trans- port has “comprehensively botched” the Murray Basin project and that a timeline needs to be delivered.

“At the moment we don’t have an end in sight. We don’t know what remedial works need to be done or what additional works need to be done. Section three was meant to be finished by August and it hasn’t started yet,” she said.

For more on this story see Page 3 of The Advertiser, Friday, August 10.

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