Abt Railway under federal scrutiny

<p>A proposed federal government inquiry into the Abt Railway could undermine public confidence in the project, Tasmanian premier Jim Bacon warned.</p> <p>Mr Bacon was responding to an announcement by Liberal Senator Richard Colbeck that he had refered the matter to the federal Joint Statutory Committee on Public Accounts and Audit.</p> <p>The committee examines all auditor-general reports. Report No 11 of 2001&#4702 dealt with administration of the Federation Fund. </p> <p>The railway received funding through this scheme.</p> <p>Safety issues have plagued the tourist railway since its opening.</p> <p>Mr Bacon is concerned that through &#8220political point scoring&#8221 the railway’s reputation will be damaged.</p> <p>&#8220The inquiry will find no evidence that safety has been compromised,&#8221 he said.</p> <p>&#8220It would be a shame if this inquiry was to undermine public confidence and damage the financial viability of what is an important piece of tourism infrastructure.&#8221</p> <br />