Government and Labor voting independents vote to block scrutiny on Andrews Labor Government country rail sale
During the debate on the Rail Safety Legislation Amendment (National Services Delivery and Related Reforms) Bill 2019, the Opposition sought to insert new protections to ensure Daniel Andrews and Labor could not proceed with their plan to sell or lease for a long term our country rail network without proper Parliamentary checks and oversight.
The amendments moved by the Liberal Nationals would have required any sale or lease agreement to be tabled in Parliament, be scrutinised by each House and be subject to revocation if not in the public interest.
Labor’s botched management of country and city rail, its mismanagement of major projects and the massive cost blowouts incurred have led Labor to begin an examination of the sale of country freight. The Opposition amendments provided a check that would have stopped Labor flogging parts of our rail system without scrutiny.
Sadly, Labor and a gaggle of Labor voting independents voted to defeat the new protections and leave Daniel Andrews and his city centric government with carte blanche for their privatisation plans.
Labor has botched the critical Murray Basin Rail plan, completing just two fifths of the planned work before running out of money. The completion of the project is now frozen while Labor looks for a way to fund it through the sale or long term lease of Victorian rail assets.
The Labor voting independents and the country Labor members have given a green light to Labor’s plan to flog country rail and increase freight charges for Victorian exporters. Andy Meddick, Catherine Cumming, Fiona Patten, Tania Maxwell and Stuart Grimley along with Labor country members, Jaala Pulford, Jaclyn Symes, Harriet Shing, Gayle Tierney, Mark Gepp shamefully voted with the Government against stronger protections.
These country members voted against protections, selling out their country communities.