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Victorian Liberals critique rail freight network statement

The Liberal party of Victoria says the state government’s latest rail freight statement doesn’t cover the lack of work completed to date

The Victorian Liberal party has labelled the state government’s rail freight statement an “admission of failure”.

The Liberal party says the Rail Freight Network Capability Statement, released by the Labor party, comes after “more than nine years of dithering and shrinking proportions of freight transported by rail”.

The party says despite talking up the need to increase freight transported by rail, total rail freight task – the proportion of total freight transported by rail – has fallen from 12 per cent to more than five per cent over the past decade.

While this happens, the Liberals say key intermodal freight projects remain incomplete, such as the Port Rail Shuttle Network and the Murray Basin Rail Project.

Shadow ports and freight minister Roma Britnell says the government has “talked a big game about the importance of goods such as grain, grapes and wine being transported by freight, yet they have allowed Victoria’s freight network to wither on the vine”.

“If they were serious, they’d get on and deliver the Port Rail Shuttle Network and the Murray Basin Rail Project, both long delayed and well overdue,” Britnell says.

“For the state government to put out a statement boasting of their achievements on rail freight shows they are simply trying to spin their way out of their commitments.

“Labor have failed the freight network for nearly a decade and seemingly have no comprehension of how to get freight onto rail, with some journeys even taking longer after completion of supposed rail line upgrades.”

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