Stalled Sunraysia-Mallee Port Link project frustrates Tania Maxwell MP
A vital train link set to benefit the agriculture and horticulture industries in the Sunraysia and Mallee region has failed to get off the ground and is frustrating the Member for Northern Victoria Tania Maxwell.
The Justice Party member told Flow News 24 that the project has struggled to garner momentum for several years.
"This is something that has been going on for so many years, I mean I've been an elected member for three years and I think it was probably in the first couple of months that I actually raised this and it was an ongoing issue long before I was elected as a member."
Along with proposed improvements to the Murray Basin Rail line, an intermodal hub was proposed by Ouyen Inc to complement the planned upgrades.
The Ouyen Intermodal Project was renamed the "Sunraysia-Mallee Port Link project" - with the name change designed to be more region-specific and hopefully attract more funding from state and federal governments.
Ms Maxwell said Mallee community organisation Ouyen Inc has been the major driving force behind the project and deserve recognition from the state government for their efforts.
"With the government investing so much money in infrastructure at the moment too, it's so disheartening that they are not willing to put in the extra dollars that are needed to complete this rail project in full," Maxwell said.
The federal government committed a year ago to provide the money to advance planning for the full standardisation of the Victorian freight network. The federal offer required the Victorian government to match the commitment.
Maxwell said the Victorian Government would not have to spend a large sum of money for the project to get off the ground with just $5 million required to match the Feds contribution.