Mr GRIMLEY (Western Victoria) (13:29): (1584) My question is to the Minister for Transport Infrastructure in the other place. The Murray Basin rail project, if funded properly, will be a game
changer for my region and Victoria generally, opening up new international markets and reducing the wear and tear on our roads, among other things. This project has a very long history, but I would like to see both state and federal governments effectively working together to give Western and Northern Victoria a freight rail line built for the future. The Rail Futures Institute recently wrote to the federal Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development about Maroona to Portland, one section that has been excluded from the current project. Minister Barnaby Joyce stated in his response:
… building on the Australian Government’s commitment to the MBRF network, I am open to exploring
investment opportunities for—
Maroona to Portland—
… with the Victorian government, the ARTC and key stakeholders.
My question is: will the minister meet with the Rail Futures Institute, the Rail Freight Alliance, the Victorian Farmers Federation and other stakeholders following her meeting with Mr Joyce and before the 2022 state election to discuss the Murray Basin rail project’s future?