BUDGET REALITY – NAPTHINE’S BUDGET DITCHES FREIGHT INDUSTRY

Posted on 07. May, 2014 in News

Vital freight projects across the state have been abandoned, hurting a growing industry.

Road-based freight improvement projects have been cut in the Budget, from nine to two as well as freight maintenance funding.

One of the shelved projects was a commitment to complete the much-needed M80 upgrade from the Princes Freeway at Laverton North to the Greensborough Highway – a major freight route for the North and East.

These cuts will jeopardise the capacity, efficiency and safety of Victoria’s freight and logistics sector.

Quotes attributable to Ms Hutchins:

“Denis Napthine is pocketing more in vehicle registration fees but not putting the money back into projects that the industry needs.”

“This is economically irresponsible – at a time of high unemployment, the growing freight and logistics sector is a lifeline for Victoria.”

“Under Denis Napthine, if you’re a worker or you run a business, then you’re on your own.”

Key Facts

• No commitment in the Budget to complete the much needed M80 upgrade, after last week’s decision by the Federal Government to redirect $550 million of funding for the completion of the M80. (Budget Paper 3, page 269, reveals a scaling back of Ports and Freight Network Improvements and cuts to Maintenance.)
• $3.8 million for “Port Rail Shuttle” but no freight intermodal investment for 3.5 years and no business plan.
• Increase in registration fees – $25 for cars & light trucks. The Napthine Government now reaps $1.4 billion from vehicle registration fees, including trucks, which is $797 million more than when it came to office.
• No relief for congestion on the West Gate Bridge until 2024, subject to the Government’s East-West Stage 2 project even getting off the ground.

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