Michael Ferguson has conceded that funds allocated for critical upgrades to Tasmania’s rail infrastructure will be raided to pay for a Federal election commitment to replace the Burnie shiploader.
Shadow Minister for Infrastructure Shane Broad said today’s GBE scrutiny hearing into TasRail heard of the raid on the existing fund.
“The Tasmanian Freight Rail Revitalisation program is intended to pay for priority projects that continue to raise the quality of the major lines on the Tasmanian rail network.
“The long-term benefits of that investment include lower costs of freight movements, additional rail capacity, improved reliability and reduced transit times.”
Dr Broad said while Labor recognised the importance of investing in replacing the ageing Burnie shiploader separate, additional funds should have been identified to pay for the election commitment.
“Michael Ferguson needs to explain to Tasmanians what upgrades to our rail system will be delayed or foregone so that Scott Morrison’s pork barrelling can be paid for.”
Shane Broad MP
Shadow Infrastructure Minister