| May 22, 2017
90 Second Statement on the Budget for Murray
On Tuesday last, the Treasurer handed down the 2017 budget. The people of rural and regional Australia are applauding the commitment that this government has to education, the disability sector and the regional infrastructure program which it has outlined. I am proud to be part of this coalition government that recognises how important regional investment is to this nation.
Following the budget, I had the opportunity to host Darren Chester, the Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, in the electorate of Murray. Together we announced a $10 million allocation to fund a detailed business case and get preliminary work started on the transformation of the region's rail program and rail services.
The people of Murray electorate are grateful for this initial allocation and, following the announcement, we had discussions with local government, manufacturers and produces about the future infrastructure needs of the greater Shepparton region and the greater Goulburn Valley region—especially surrounding a fully integrated transport infrastructure plan. Major infrastructure works are required in the Goulburn Valley for the producers and their processors as they are rapidly developing export markets, and large increases in volume for fresh produce are forecast into the future. As a result, we are asking Minister Chester to request that the $10 million for planning be broadened to complete a comprehensive and detailed plan that integrates rail freight, rail passenger services with air transport and road transport.