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Wednesday, 21 November 2012

LIBERAL NATIONAL GOVERNMENT DITHERING ON REGIONAL RAIL LINK

The Victorian Auditor-General has found the Baillieu Ryan Government has failed to provide a new budget for the Regional Rail Link (RRL) project for 17 months, Member for Bendigo West, Maree Edwards said today.

Ms Edwards said the Report on the Annual Financial Report stated the Baillieu Ryan Government’s inaction could have significant impact on the outcome of the project.

The Auditor-General’s report states:

‘A current budget is an important element of effective project management
and its absence means that monitoring, accountability and the ability to
achieve value-for-money outcomes from the Regional Rail Link project are
diminished.’ (p23)

 “Mr Baillieu and his co-premier Mr Ryan have no excuse for this failure to undertake the basic planning to keep the RRL project on track,” Ms Edwards said.

“The commercial negotiations were completed over six months ago and the
Government’s failure to produce a project budget is both lazy and
financially irresponsible”.

“The risk to the project and the state’s finances are laid bare in this
report – Mr Baillieu and Mr Ryan are dithering and this is undermining the projects efficient and transparent delivery”.

Ms Edwards said it was time for Mr Baillieu and Mr Ryan to stop the cynical and indefensible delay and provide the budget for the project.

“The Federal Labor Government has signed up to the project and the Baillieu
Ryan Government has had two years to do the same,” Ms Edwards said.

“Until the budget is settled, Victorian taxpayers will be left in the dark
as to how much of their money is being invested in this vital project”.

“Similarly Victorians have every right to dispute the fabricated project
cost blowouts floated by Government Ministers when they haven’t made the
effort to explain them to Victorians”.

“It comes as no surprise to people in regional Victoria that Mr Baillieu and the National Party Leader Mr Ryan are dithering on this important project”.

“After two years of inaction, it is time for some action from this Government and a project budget would be a good start.”

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