New sleepers are being installed between Maryborough and Mildura as part of the Andrews Labor Government’s $416 million Murray Basin Rail Project (MBRP).
Minister for Agriculture and Regional Development Jaala Pulford welcomed the works and renewed calls for the Federal Government to partner with the Labor Government in delivering the transformative project.
The MBRP will upgrade and standardise the entire Murray Basin freight network, and better connect primary producers to the State’s major ports in Portland, Geelong and Melbourne.
The broad gauge sleepers being laid in Maryborough right now will make the main freight line safer and more reliable straight away, and pave the way for the next phase of the project.
Because the sleepers are wooden, they can be easily converted to standard gauge, which will minimise the time the Mildura line will be closed during Stage 2 of the project, when Murray Basin freight network is standardised.
All-in-all, 100,000 sleepers will be laid between Maryborough and Mildura as part of the MBRP, of which nearly 30,000 have already been installed.
The Labor Government has put $220 million toward the MBRP – more than half the overall cost of the project.
Quotes attributable Minister for Agriculture and Regional Development Jaala Pulford
“The sleepers being laid today will improve safety and reliability of the main freight line straight away, and pave the way for the next phase of this critical project – the upgrade and standardisation of the entire Murray Basin freight network.”
“The Murray Basin Rail Project will enable primary producers across North Western Victoria to get more produce to port, more efficiently – boosting jobs and the regional economy.”
“The Andrews Labor Government has put $220 million towards this project, and is calling again on the Federal Government to pay their fair share.”
“They have had the business case for the project for more than six months and it’s time for them to support farmers, their families and our economy, and commit this vital project.”