Photo caption: Federal Member for Parkes Mark Coulton speaks to a press conference on infrastructure in Parliament House, 16 November 2023
Federal Member for Parkes Mark Coulton is appalled by the results of the Labor Government’s Infrastructure Review, released today.
After taking more than double the expected 90 days, the Labor Government’s Independent Strategic Review of Infrastructure has now been released, with key infrastructure projects for both the Parkes electorate and the nation cut from funding.
“I’m furious that the Labor Government has stripped the guts from projects which would have secured immense benefits for both the Parkes electorate and the rest of the country,” Mr Coulton said.
“The Minister for Infrastructure has seen fit to cut the Moree Intermodal Overpass and the Northern NSW Inland Port at Narrabri which are crucial elements of the Inland Rail.
“I’ve just had to call the mayors from these areas to let them know that all of the investment and planning put into these expected projects will now grind to a halt, shattering these areas’ projections for growth and development.
“People have staked their livelihoods on the reliability of the Inland Rail as a future driver for growth, as its’ purpose is to connect the productivity of inland New South Wales with the rest of the country. To have these key pieces in the puzzle effectively scrapped is devastating.
“The wider Moree area is one of the most significant agricultural producers in Australia – that the Labor Government has shut down expansion of the Inland Rail in this area shows a shocking lack of both insight and foresight.
“In a cost-of-living crisis, where food prices are going through the roof, the Labor Government wants to save money in the short-term by cutting out long-term access routes to food and fibre.
“These rail projects are part of feeding the nation and keeping our economy strong – they would have driven down carbon emissions and made transporting freight more efficient as well as taking pressure off our highways.
“The Minister has taken 200 days to turn around what was supposed to be a 90 Day Review which shoots our nation in the foot and I could not be more appalled by today’s announcement.”
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