Gippsland South The Nationals Transport Regional Port of Melbourne Rail Regional Rail

Labor’s broken promise duds Gippsland

The Andrews Labor Government owes regional Victoria $723 million after failing to meet its commitment to provide at least 10 per cent of the Port of Melbourne lease proceeds to regional Victoria.

The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien was commenting in Parliament this week on revelations at a parliamentary committee that the government had failed to meet its commitment.

“Two years ago The Nationals in Coalition insisted on a number of conditions before we passed legislation for the long term lease on the Port of Melbourne. Primary among those conditions was that at least 10 percent of the proceeds of the sale be returned to transport infrastructure in regional Victoria,” Mr O’Brien said.

“This money could fund important projects like the completion of the duplication of the Princes Highway between Traralgon and Sale, an upgrade of the South Gippsland, Strzelecki or Hyland Highways and improvements to rail services on the Gippsland line.

“However, in a parliamentary committee last week I questioned the secretary of Treasury and was able to confirm that Labor had not met its commitment.

“Labor has falsely claimed Federal money for the Regional Rail Revival project as acquitting its Port of Melbourne lease commitment while also claiming $288 million in ‘periodic rail maintenance’ also met its commitment. Regular maintenance and money from the Federal Government doesn’t deliver for regional Victoria as Labor promised.”

Mr O’Brien said there are so many transport infrastructure projects throughout the state and particularly in Gippsland that could be funded and yet Labor is duding country Victorians again.

“It can’t completely ignore what the Parliament passed and the legislation approving the Port of Melbourne lease very clearly states the 10 per cent commitment,” Mr O’Brien said.

“Labor now owes us $723 million and needs to acquit that in the upcoming budget.

“Gippsland is crying out for better transport infrastructure and after cutting roads funding and relying on the Federal Government for its regional rail package Labor has a lot of catching up to do.

“I will continue to argue for better transport infrastructure in Gippsland South and hold the Labor Government and Daniel Andrews accountable to their previous commitments.”

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