The controversial $440 million Murray Basin Rail Project has once again come under fire, with works put on hold last week after claims the project has run out of funding.
According to Member for Ripon Louise Staley, during a budget estimates hearing last Wednesday Member for Transport Jacinta Allan admitted the project is now out of money and cannot be completed without additional funding.
Works to upgrade and convert the Manangatang and Sea Lake lines from broad to narrower standard-gauge track was due to begin next month.
Ms Allan said as stage two of the project comes to completion, some challenges were presented.
“When it came to starting the next stages, particularly Sea Lake and Manangatang, because of the challenges we experienced with stage two and with consultations with industry, we advised that we had to do further line inspections,” she said.
“The team of Rail Projects Victoria physically walked the lines and as a consequence of that and further advice from V/Line, we were given advice that urgent works need to be done on the Manangatang line and that if not urgently fixed, the line would need to be closed.
“We took the decision that we have to keep the line operational, we need to do these urgent maintenance works and at the same time revaluate the remaining work as part of the upgrade to the Murray Basin Rail network.”
For more on this story see the Front Page of The Advertiser, Tuesday, June 18