Mar 9, 2017

Government backtracks on Inland Rail promise

The Turnbull Government has pushed construction of the Inland Rail link between Brisbane and Melbourne off into the never-never despite having promised to have commenced construction last year.

In a clear illustration of everything that is wrong with the Coalition’s infrastructure program, The Australian today reports that Infrastructure Minister Darren Chester has told the Australian Logistics Council:  “My challenge in this term of government is to build momentum on this project and make its development inevitable”.

This is a massive climb down from the Coalition’s 2013 election promise for “construction to start within three years’’.

The Coalition made delivery of Inland Rail one of its key election promises in the 2013 and 2016 federal elections to win support in regional Australia.

For more than a decade, it has argued that the Inland Rail project would be a boon for industries up and down the nation’s east coast.

But it has yet to lay a single sleeper. This is a broken promise from an incompetent Government.

Its failure comes despite the fact that the former Labor Federal Government invested $600 million on upgrading parts of the existing rail network that would be part of the line and allocated $300 million in the 2013 Budget to advance the project.

Four years later, nothing has happened.

It’s another example of the huge gap between the Coalition’s rhetoric on Infrastructure and its record of non-delivery.