The Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) says there is no reason for the Victorian Government to withhold the Murray Basin Rail Project’s (MBRP) revised business case and says by doing so the government risks condemning the project to years of further delays and setbacks.
VFF Grains Group President Ashley Fraser says it’s long overdue that farmers and industry get to see the revised business case, after Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack joined calls for Victorian Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan to immediately release the revised business case.
“Minister Allan has previously said she wouldn’t release the project’s business case without the support of the Federal Government.”
“Given Minister McCormack’s support, we fully expect the revised business case to be released now,” Mr Fraser said.
The VFF has repeatedly called for the details of the project be unveiled to enable the grains industry and wider rural communities to view the State Government’s plan to get the project back on track.
“While it’s very disappointing the project received no funding in the Federal Budget, it is fair enough for the Federal Government to expect feedback from stakeholders on the business case for the project.”
“As a result, the Victorian Government has no alternative other than to release the details of the stalled project now to ensure there’s time to scrutinise the details ahead of the State Budget.”
“We simply must ensure this promised once-in-a-generation project, to revitalise and standardise Victoria’s freight rail network, is delivered as planned way back in 2015.”
“Rural Victoria is crying out for major infrastructure projects to stimulate the economy and provide much needed local jobs.”
“It’s just staggering to think we could be heading into 2021 without any funding on what was billed as a major project for rural Victoria.”
“Victorian farmers should already be experiencing the benefits of the project that was scheduled for completion in 2018.”
“The ball is in the court of Minister Allan and the Victorian Government,” Mr Fraser said
Ashley Fraser, VFF Grains Group President, 0418 176 764
Ryan Moloney, VFF, 0400 874 589