Rail

Mildura Rail Line Robbed of $60 Million

The Andrews Labor Government has lost $60 million that could have paid for vital level crossing upgrades to improve the Mildura rail line.

The Nationals Member for Mildura Peter Crisp said he was furious to learn of the careless paperwork failure by the Labor State Government which was admitted at a Parliamentary Budget Briefing this week.

“Upgrading the level crossings on the Mildura line would be a fantastic compliment to the current Murray Basin Rail Project, and Daniel Andrews could have secured the $60 million needed to do this if he had just completed the Commonwealth’s Asset Recycling Initiative application on time,” Mr Crisp said.

Victoria was eligible to apply for the funding from the Commonwealth Government due to the sale of Rural Finance Corporation.

“Quite frankly, I can’t believe that Labor could bugger this up,” Mr Crisp said.

“Labor are always quick to blame others for their mistakes, and I’ve no doubt they will do the same in this instance, but the reality is that State Labor has been in government for 13 of the past 17 years, and they have continually failed to develop - let alone deliver – a major project for Mildura.

“The only reason that the current Murray Basin Rail Project is happening is due to the initiative of The Nationals. This project was conceived by myself along with former Leader Peter Ryan and Peter Walsh, as Agriculture Minister, in 2013 and we secured $220 million for the project in the 2014-15 State Budget.

“With the ARI money, the Andrews Government had an opportunity to add value by securing the $60 million dividend and allocating it to the level crossing upgrades but they failed to do so, and have again failed Mildura by putting petty political games ahead of people.”

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