Thursday, August 5, 2021

No oversight or accountability on Basin Rail despite the problems

The Andrews Labor Government can’t say what failures led to the waste of hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars on the now stalled and unfinished Murray Basin Rail Project.

Last week’s long overdue release of the revised business case revealed Transport Infrastructure Minister Jacinta Allan never intended to complete the project, instead favouring a $244 million patch job.

Treasurer Tim Pallas couldn’t explain what went wrong – and what checks and balances would be put in place in the future to stop it from happening again – when asked today in State Parliament.

The Treasurer instead claimed the Transport Infrastructure Minister had ‘effectively’ managed the project – which is now out of money and barely half finished, with stakeholders saying they’re now worse off than when work started.

MUST READ  Greater Sydney construction work to restart with modified Covid rules

The Project was intended to standardise the century old network, making it more efficient by running one set of wagons instead of a broad and standard gauge set and by taking thousands of truck movements off the roads.

A damning Victorian Auditor-General report found in March that ‘completion of the MBRP is a year overdue, with over twice the original budget now estimated as necessary to complete the project to its original approved scope’ (VAGO, p33).

Comment attributable to Leader of The Nationals, Peter Walsh:

“The once-in-a-generation Murray Basin Rail Project is in tatters under an incompetent, arrogant Minister who refuses to admit her mistakes.

“Stakeholders are furious they were kept in the dark for months, despite the Minister knowing since May that Labor didn’t intended to finish this project in full, as promised.

MUST READ  New CoW units to improve emergency communications this summer
MUST READ  Does $.99 pricing really work? Read inside

“North west Victorians will never forgive Minister for Excuses Jacinta Allan for her incompetence.”

Comment attributable to Shadow Treasurer, Louise Staley:

“Only Labor could completely botch a transformational opportunity for regional Victoria that will boost the efficiency and productivity of our farmers in north west Victoria.

“It’s so bad that $244 million is now needed just to patch up Labor’s mess but leaving this project unfinished isn’t an option, and it must be delivered in full.

“The Treasurer must step in and get control of this waste and mismanagement by the failed Minister for Transport Infrastructure.”

 

Latest news

India get Olympic medal after 41 yrs in Hockey, beat Germany 5-4 to get Bronze

A resolute Indian men's hockey team rewrote history as it claimed an Olympic medal after 41 years, defeating a plucky Germany 5-4 to win...

UK eases entry restrictions for fully vaccinated passengers from India

Fully vaccinated Indian passengers flying to the UK will no longer be put through a mandatory 10-day hotel quarantine as the UK moved the...

Transgender Olympian Laurel Hubbard’s dead silence at reporter’s question

New Zealand’s transgender weightlifter Laurel Hubbard cemented her place in history on Monday evening, but it led to an awkward moment at a press...

SPC makes COVID-19 vaccines mandatory for all staff

In an Australian first, manufacturer SPC is making the coronavirus vaccine mandatory for all staff. It is the first non-health care company to make the...

Related news

India get Olympic medal after 41 yrs in Hockey, beat Germany 5-4 to get Bronze

A resolute Indian men's hockey team rewrote history as it claimed an Olympic medal after 41 years, defeating a plucky Germany 5-4 to win...
MUST READ  Reg Mombassa's artwork ‘Onwards and upwards’ dedicted to HSC students

UK eases entry restrictions for fully vaccinated passengers from India

Fully vaccinated Indian passengers flying to the UK will no longer be put through a mandatory 10-day hotel quarantine as the UK moved the...

Transgender Olympian Laurel Hubbard’s dead silence at reporter’s question

New Zealand’s transgender weightlifter Laurel Hubbard cemented her place in history on Monday evening, but it led to an awkward moment at a press...

SPC makes COVID-19 vaccines mandatory for all staff

In an Australian first, manufacturer SPC is making the coronavirus vaccine mandatory for all staff. It is the first non-health care company to make the...

Victoria records five new cases, Queensland 16

Victoria has recorded six new covid-19 infections today after more than 27,000 people came forward for testing. Three of the cases, including one which was reported...

Five Covid deaths in NSW; snap lockdown for Newcastle and Hunter region

The number of active cases in NSW continues to climb with 262 new infectious announced on Thursday morning, the highest number of daily infections...

Himachal makes negative RT-PCR report mandatory for tourists entering state

In view of the increasing Covid cases in the state, Himachal Pradesh has made negative RT-PCR report mandatory for tourists entering the state. The Disaster...

“Himmat Rakhna,” Parents had said before they died of Covid, daughter scores full marks in class X

Vanisha Pathak of Madhya Pradesh's Bhopal scored 100 in her English, Sanskrit, Science and Social Science Class X CBSE exams, and 97 in Mathematics...