Viterra port infrastructure photo Viterra

Viterra to move off rail in Mallee region

Grain handler Viterra will discontinue the use of G&W trains in the Mallee region of South Australia later this year, citing the lower cost of alternative road transport.

Viterra group commercial manager Andrew Hannon told ABC Rural the move wouldn’t increase costs at the farm gate for producers, as it was made to keep costs down.

“Our decision to utilise road transport in the area … is about providing the most cost-effective access to freight in that Mallee region,” Hannon said.

Viterra extended its agreement with operator Genesee & Wyoming Australia 12 months ago, but decided against renewing this time around.

“We’ve been working with the rail provider over the last 24 months,” Hannon explained, “as the only customer of the Mallee rail lines.”

Based on Viterra’s estimates, the move will put 3000 more B-double journeys on the region’s roads each year. The transition will take place on August 1.

Hannon ensured growers that the method would be just as efficient, for them, as the existing rail method.

“This will have no impact on our services at harvest,” he said. “Those sites in the Mallee region will continue to operate the same as they have previously, and road transport during that harvest period is completely unaffected.”

Viterra choosing road over rail in this instance is likely due to the low usage of the rail lines in the Mallee region. As Viterra is (according to Hannon) G&W’s only customer on the lines, it is fair to assume that the fixed costs relating to that line would all have to be considered in a contract with Viterra.

Interestingly, the main roads that will be used by the 3000 new truck journeys were recently described by the South Australian Opposition as being in a state of disrepair.

But Hannon was confident the grain handler could keep its producers happy.

“We’ll be able to provide strong links by road through to port infrastructure, from the Mallee region,” he said.

Viterra will still use rail in the supply chain of the grain, just closer to export sites.

“Much of the Mallee road will truncate at Tailem Bend and the task from Tailem Bend will continue to be completed by the important rail service that operates down the main line,” Hannon concluded.

DP World West Swanson Dock, Port of Melbourne. Photo: David Sexton

DP World implements direct rail service to Melbourne dock

Container stevedore DP World says its Melbourne terminal is the first to deliver a true on-dock rail service, with direct rail access to be available to customers from July.

A major source of the state’s exports, Victoria’s Wimmera region will have direct rail access to DP World’s West Swanson Dock thanks to the new rail access.

DP World and SCT Logistics are working together to provide exporters from the western Victorian region with the on-dock rail service.

A spokesperson for the stevedore told Rail Express sister publication Lloyd’s List Australia the company was excited about the new partnership.

However, the company was unable to provide comment on the number and frequency of services at this early stage.

DP World Australia managing director and chief executive Paul Scurrah said the service will be the “only true on-dock rail service” at the port of Melbourne.

“The arrangement demonstrates DPWA’s commitment to reducing supply chain costs for regional exporters by creating a clear path to our terminal,” he said.

“The impact to our local community is also significant as around 20,000 trucks per year will be taken off the road in surrounding communities.”

SCT Group managing director Geoff Smith said the project fit his company’s business goals, of improving outcomes for customers by improving the supply chain.

“This partnership with DPWA ticks both of those boxes and provides a platform for future strategic opportunities together,” he said.

SCT Logistics was established in 1974 and is Australia’s largest private rail freight operator.

It is managed by its founder Peter Smith along with sons Geoff and Glen.

Hockey Budget Photo: Youtube / Joe Hockey MP

Parts of rail do like the Budget

While most of the news and opinion concerning the rail industry following Tuesday’s Federal Budget has been negative, there are at least two key stakeholders who have found things to like.

TasRail on Thursday bucked the trend by welcoming the Budget.

The state-owned operator thanked the Abbott Government for a $59.8 million investment, which will be matched by the Tasmanian Government, to create a $119.6 million Infrastructure Investment Program (IIP).

TasRail chief executive officer Damien White said the funding would deliver further improvements to the safety and reliability of the network and provide an increased level of certainty for TasRail’s customers.

“It’s certainly good news for our customers as well as those currently considering a shift from road to rail,” White announced.

A prioritised program of works has been developed to support the investment, which TasRail will funnel into its Rail Revitalisation Program.

“We’ve been working constructively with the Federal Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development and the Tasmanian Department of State Growth to prepare appropriate documentation in support of the investment,” White explained.

Works to upgrade prioritised sections of the Western Line, the South Line and the Melba Line could commence within weeks, subject to weather.

The funding will also provide for selected re-railing, re-sleepering and drainage works on the Fingal, Bell Bay and Derwent Valley Lines, TasRail said.

“Investment in infrastructure upgrades and new assets, combined with TasRail’s focus on business excellence, has helped to achieve a turnaround in the performance of the rail freight business,” White continued.

“The rate of derailments has halved, operating costs have reduced and we’ve seen a step change in the efficiency and productivity of our operations.

“All of this translates to an ongoing increase in freight volumes on rail, growing customer confidence and the attraction of new business opportunities.”

 

Another industry member to praise the Federal Budget was Inland Rail Implementation Group chair, John Anderson.

Shadow infrastructure minister Anthony Albanese on Thursday wrote in Rail Express that since the Coalition promised to get on with Inland Rail prior to the election, this was the second Federal Budget where no extra funding (aside from the original $300 million) had been committed.

But Anderson, who was the leader of the National Party throughout the first half of last decade, welcomed the Budget “and its continuing commitment to deliver Inland Rail”.

Anderson said there was no need for extra funds until his Implementation Group had finished putting together a report for the Government.

“While additional funds will be required for further development and construction, they are not required immediately,” Anderson reasoned.

“There are sufficient funds presently available for the pre-construction work to continue, which is being ably led by the ARTC on the Government’s behalf.

The Implementation Group’s report is expected to Government in mid-2015, he said.

“The Implementation Group’s report will provide Government with the advice it needs to release further funds for construction in next year’s Budget.

“Inland Rail is a bigger project than expected. It has required significant additional work to develop the business case and delivery plan, and to ensure that it is robust.

“There have also been delays in the work undertaken due to the change in government in Queensland.”

Anderson said work undertaken to date has been “the most detailed of any work on Inland Rail,” and puts the Government in a good position for the implementation.

“I look forward to benefits that Inland Rail will provide to the national freight task,” Anderson concluded.

Central station tram stop. Photo: Gareth Edwards

EXCLUSIVE: Rail ignored by visionless Abbott Government

COMMENT: In nearly 20 years in Parliament I cannot remember a federal Budget that included no new infrastructure projects.

Nor can I remember a Budget that actually reduced investment in infrastructure.

But that’s exactly what happened when Joe Hockey brought down the Budget on Tuesday night.

The Government cut infrastructure spending by $2 billion over two years despite having run for election claiming it would lift funding.

Critically, the Government failed to deliver a cent for urban rail, in line with the Prime Minister’s bizarre view that the commonwealth has no business investing in public transport.

There was no reversal of the cuts to public transport in last year’s Budget.

Cuts to the Melbourne Metro.

Cuts to Cross River Rail.

Cuts to the link between the Perth CBD and the city’s busy airport.

No effort to progress planning for a High Speed Rail Link between Brisbane and Melbourne via Sydney and Canberra.

Freight rail fared no better.

In Opposition, the Coalition vowed it would “fast track’’ the Inland Rail Link from Brisbane to Melbourne.

But after two Abbott Government Budgets, not an extra dollar has been allocated beyond the $300 million left in the Budget by the former Labor Government.

And the industry is becoming impatient over delays in the production of the report into the delivery of the project being prepared by a government-appointed panel.

The Budget even included cuts for the Prime Minister’s preferred mode of transport – roads.

This includes the scandalous and vindictive decision to punish the people of Victoria for daring to elect a Labor Government that can see that there are more productivity gains to be made building the Melbourne Metro than there are in the East-West Link toll road.

This Budget has also foreshadowed extending this approach to freight rail with the examination of privatising the Australian Rail Track Corporation.

The key challenge for the economy at the moment is how to deal with the wind-back that has occurred in the resources sector as a result of the move from the investment side to the production side.

We need to fill that gap to ensure future economic growth.

Options include investing in infrastructure and capital or investing in human capital – in people’s skills and education.

This Budget fails on both accounts.

This is occurring at a time when the latest ABS statistics show that construction activity for public sector infrastructure fell by 17.3 per cent between the December 2014 quarter and the December 2013 quarter.

In the same period, private sector investment plunged by 12.4 per cent.

This is a time when government should be investing in infrastructure.

Yet this Budget does exactly the opposite.

Infrastructure Partnerships Australia’s analysis of the Budget shows that the Commonwealth investment in infrastructure will fall from 1.55 per cent of the Budget to 1.47 per cent across the forward estimates to 2018-19.

The Government has also cut Infrastructure Australia funding from $15 million this year to $8.8 billion by 2018-19.

This is confirmation it is trying to sidelined this important organisation as a provider of independent advice to government on the value for money implications of proposed infrastructure projects.

Judging by the East-West Link debacle in Victoria, the Government does not want advice because it would prefer to use public money to make investments that are in its strategic political interest, rather than in the long-term national economic interest.

If the Government wanted Infrastructure Australia’s advice, it would not have transferred $3 billion the former Labor Government allocated to the Melbourne Metro to the East-West Link, which would return a paltry 45 cents for every dollar invested.

This country needs a government that understands that the cost of infrastructure must be considered in the light of the economic productivity returns it delivers to the community.

By increasing productivity and economic growth, great projects provide a return to government.

They represent investments, not just costs.

The nation needs a government that understands that one in six Australians currently use public transport and that the prosperity of our cities is intricately linked with the efficiency of public transport, particularly urban rail.

This week’s infrastructure Budget was a prescription for inactivity.

It does nothing to address the worsening traffic congestion that is holding back productivity growth, which is the pathway to job creation.

 

Anthony Albanese is the Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Cities.

Queensland Rail passenger train - photo QLD Matt

Budget has ‘failed Queensland’, says treasurer

Infrastructure shortfalls are a major factor in Queensland treasurer Curtis Pitt’s decision to label Tuesday’s Budget a ‘horror’ one, which has “failed” Queensland.

Pitt said the Budget was a continuation of the Abbott Government’s failures on health, education, infrastructure and jobs, leaving Queensland facing a multi-billion funding shortfall.

He pointed out key infrastructure priority projects such as Brisbane’s second river rail crossing, Gold Coast Light Rail extension and Sunshine Coast Rail Duplication had not received a single cent in funding from the Federal Budget.

“The Abbott Government’s Northern Infrastructure Fund isn’t a ‘fund’ at all – it’s a loan scheme and Mr Hockey isn’t giving us any detail on how North Queensland can access those concessional loans or even what the conditions are,” he said, referring to Hockey’s plan to fund new infrastructure in the Northern region of Australia, across north WA, NT and QLD.

Pitt did say that “after standing up for Queensland’s fair share of GST, we are pleased that the Budget will deliver Queensland its agreed revenue share as recommended by the Commonwealth Grants Commission.”

But that was about it in terms of things Pitt liked about Tuesday’s announcement.

“What all Queenslanders needed was a responsible Federal Budget that delivered on jobs and economic development ,” Pitt said. “Joe Hockey has failed in this task.”

On other issues, he said: “The cuts to health and education funding announced in Joe Hockey’s first Budget have not been addressed in this Budget.

“Queensland is still facing an $18 billion funding shortfall in health and education over the next decade.

“This is despite Lawrence Springborg’s economic crystal ball gazing that Queensland would get an even greater share of health and education funding.

“The Queensland LNP is in denial – Joe Hockey refuses to provide the funding we need to pay our doctors and nurses and keep teachers in our classrooms.”

Pitt said the Commonwealth Budget Papers reveal Queensland will be $924 million worse off in hospitals funding and $466 million worse off in school funding over the next three years compared to the specific purpose payments in last year’s federal budget.

“These savage cuts are yet another exercise in cost-shifting to the States, and a further sign of Mr Hockey’s chronic financial mismanagement,” he said.

Freight rail track - stock - credit Shutterstock (8)

Carter: Budget blues are business as usual for rail

COMMENT: As already reported in Rail Express, for a second year in a row there is no new funding, nor any new initiatives for rail in the federal budget. And it’s hard not to be cynical about the government’s future intentions for rail transport.

It would seem just a little more than eighteen months after telling anyone that would listen that he wanted to be known as Australia’s ‘Infrastructure Prime Minister’, Tony Abbott’s hashtag has now been changed to ‘Tony’s Tradies’.

I’m not sure how Liberal Party spin doctors come up with this puerile nonsense, but I think we can see that an infrastructure led recovery was just a passing fad and we are now destined to become a nation of shopkeepers.

It should be noted that there is money in this budget for rail projects. In fact, spending on rail will increase in the 2015/16 budget by 46% from $740m in 2014/15 to $1079m, however rail investment is forecast to peak at $1303m in 2016/17 before tailing off to $674m in FY 2018/19.

But this is nothing that we didn’t already know about, and most of the projects included in these figures have been announced several times over already.

The Abbott Government further bolsters its anti-environment credentials by seeing out the decline in Federal co-funding of urban passenger rail with contributions to state government rail projects effectively halved this coming financial year from $657.4m to $329.1m, fading away almost completely by 2018/19 when only a meagre $17m is committed.

Inland Rail only gets a fleeting mention with a re-statement of the $300m earmarked by the previous Labor administration, some of which has recently been freed up to ARTC. There are hints that some further commitment can be expected in late 2015/early 2016, which should coincide nicely with the next federal election campaign.

Tied in with the fortunes of the Inland Rail project could also be a possible sell-off Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) next year. In fact in the lead up to the budget announcements you could have been forgiven for thinking this was a done deal, with an estimated price tag of around $4bn.

As it turns out for now, the government will undertake a scoping study in 2015/16 on options for the future management, operations and ownership of ARTC with recommendations to be considered as part of the 2016/17 budget process.

Quite where the figure of $4bn comes from is anyone’s guess given a substantial part of the assets are subject to 50-year leases and in the most lucrative part of the network, the Hunter Valley, there will be downward pressure on costs as coal miners continue battle subdued global trading conditions.

A couple of wits have already contacted me to suggest that in the context of the scoping study for the proposed privatisation of ARTC, the rail industry should perhaps raise the concept of privatising the main parallel interstate highways, further suggesting that it might fix all the government’s budgetary woes in one hit!

The government seems further intent on shooting itself in the foot with part of the budget strategy looking at a major freeing up of coastal shipping again to foreign influence which has the potential to have a significant impact upon ARTC’s bottom line.

The freeing up of coastal shipping of course also casts a cloud over the potential viability of the Inland Rail route.

For those that think federal budgets are all about smoke and mirrors, you wouldn’t be far wrong and there are a couple of real gems in this year’s machinations.

One deft little touch is that where the Federal Government has co-funded urban rail projects with State governments, and these projects have come in under budget, it has chosen to reprioritise these savings into road projects.

A case in point is the $187.5m in savings from the Regional Rail Link that have been redirected into highway improvements.

Robbing Peter to pay Paul?

And of course the overall budget bottom line has been made to look a staggering $1.5bn better by the demand that the Victoria now return the funding originally earmarked for the East West road link, despite the Vics allegedly previously been told they could hang on to the cash.

It’s good to see the Australasian Railway Association being a bit more proactive than usual, feisty even, with its response expressing its disappointment in the budget, which it says announces the lion’s share of transport infrastructure funding going toward roads, and no new money for the important rail infrastructure needs of the country’s biggest cities.

Interim ARA Chairman Bob Herbert said rail was swiftly approaching a funding cliff that would see key integrated rail infrastructure projects “fall off the policy agendas of our biggest and fastest growing cities”.

“Decisions such as these are disincentives for the rail industry and its constructors and suppliers to work efficiently and effectively,” he said.

About time people!

There are one or two positive aspects for rail in the budget and I’ll be taking a look at them and some of the issues raised above, in more detail over the next few weeks.

Opinions - Ingram Publishing

ARA slams Budget

The Australasian Railway Association has warned rail could soon face a “funding cliff,” as the 2015/16 Federal Budget found no new money for urban rail.

The ARA expressed disappointment in Tuesday’s Budget, with “the lion’s share of transport infrastructure funding to go toward roads, and no new money for the important rail infrastructure needs of the country’s biggest cities”.

ARA interim chairman Bob Herbert said rail was swiftly approaching a funding cliff that would see key integrated rail infrastructure projects fall off the policy agendas of our biggest and fastest growing cities.

“Federal contributions to state government rail projects have effectively halved between this budget and the last, making up less than 5% of the $8.6 billion infrastructure spend in 2015/16,” Herbert observed.

“This situation will not improve over the forward estimates without sustained future co-investment in urban rail, with Federal funding of urban rail projects going over the cliff from $514 million in 2014/15 to only $17 million in 2018/19.

“Australia as a nation is facing increasingly serious economic, social and environmental problems with traffic congestion clogging our roads, transport emissions choking our urban environment, fluctuating fuel prices and the continued growth of our major cities.

“The Federal Government’s continued approach of prioritising roads over rail will not address the long term transport needs of our growing cities,” he said.

In stark contrast to his approach to rail, Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s commitments to roads were made clear in this Budget, the ARA stated, with around two -thirds of the $8.6 billion in Federal Government transport infrastructure spend going on roads, compared to just one-eighth being spent on rail.

Herbert expressed further disappointment in the fact some of the money helping to build new road infrastructure was in fact coming from rail.

“We are seeing money earmarked for rail projects, such as the $187.5 million savings from the successful delivery of Regional Rail Link, being allocated to improving highway infrastructure that directly competes with Victoria’s regional rail system,” Herbert said.

“Decisions such as these are disincentives for the rail industry and its constructors and suppliers to work efficiently and effectively.”

Herbert was also disappointed by the Government’s limited action so far on Inland Rail.

“We are hoping for a stronger, clearer and more significant long-term funding commitment to Inland Rail from the 2016/17 Budget,” he said.

“The ARA is determined to pursue its priorities through working with both Federal and State Governments to ensure the nation and its cities receive the rail infrastructure needed for the future.”

New platform stops in Southbank top list of upcoming major tram upgrades

Two new tram platform stops will be built on Queensbridge Street as part of a busy period of network upgrades being delivered by Yarra Trams on behalf of Public Transport Victoria.

Yarra Trams said it will install two pairs of raised platforms on Route 55, one near Crown Casino and another near City Road.

“Raised platform stops offer a safer area for passengers to board and alight from trams, provide passenger facilities such as shelters and information screens, as well as making it easier for passengers to get on and off trams,” the authority said this week.

The installation of new tram platforms and track renewal on Queensbridge Street will be divided into two phases – the first platform stop at City Road was built on May 9, while the main construction period is from May 23 to May 30.

57-year-old tram tracks on Lygon Street, Brunswick East are being renewed in works which began on May 12, and will run to May 17, in a move hoped to provide a smoother ride for passengers on Routes 1 and 8.

Two days of preliminary work will also take place during May on Blyth Street, East Brunswick in preparation for the construction of a new terminus later this year as part of the Route 96 Upgrade.

These projects will be followed on the Queen’s Birthday weekend (June 6 to 8) by the renewal of tram tracks on Swanston Street at Federation Square, Melbourne’s busiest tram stop, and between La Trobe and A’Beckett streets.

Meanwhile, community consultation has begun in relation to a proposed new platform stop outside the MCG on Wellington Parade, the authority said.

This stop is designed to improve access to the ground for passengers who use mobility aids, prams or have limited mobility, in addition to better safety and information.

Yarra Trams released the following timetable for works:

Yarra Trams upgrades

Major project safety measures apply to small projects, too

Bob Hammer gives his thoughts on the Office of the National Safety Regulator’s major projects guidelines released late last year.


Bob HammerI read with interest the guideline recently released by the Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator [note] Major projects guideline version 1.0, 14 November 2014. Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator, Adelaide.[/note] and thought that the advice provided in the document applies as much to small projects as to large ones.

In fact I suspect that sometimes the smaller projects may be more at risk than large ones because they do not generate the same level of scrutiny.

One of the reminders in the guideline is that designers, manufacturers, suppliers and constructors of railway assets (regardless of the size of the project) have significant legal responsibilities. Section 53 of the Rail Safety National Law requires that (in my words), subject to the ‘so far as is reasonably practicable’ test, these persons must ensure that whatever they are designing, supplying, manufacturing and/or building is safe, be able to demonstrate that it is safe and to provide the necessary information to enable the asset to be operated and maintained safely.

Although smaller rail projects are usually delivered under the management of and in compliance with the accredited rail transport operator’s safety management system the legal responsibility remains with the designer, manufacturer and/or supplier.

The guideline also states that “good practice dictates that effective risk-based system engineering and safety assurance processes should be implemented”.

Again, good advice for smaller projects provided that the processes are sized to match the level of risk within the project.

A question I like to pose is “How will I know that the asset delivered by this project will be safe to operate and maintain?”

From my experience, the sooner that question is asked and answered through the establishment of a safety assurance process the better the chance of delivering the project without major issues.

Another piece of good advice in the guideline is to consider the requirements of the operator and maintainer throughout the project lifecycle. I would go further and suggest that the operator and maintainer should be active stakeholders throughout the development, design and delivery process.

This helps to ensure that the asset can be safely operated and maintained after it is delivered.

I observed one major station upgrading project in Sydney that placed the platform lighting on a high canopy directly above the edge of the platform. The lighting outcomes were great, but in order to change a light fitting the maintainer now has to get a scissor lift onto the platform (no mean feat in itself), stop trains from running and turn off the traction power.

I suggest that the maintenance issues were not adequately considered during design!

I was fortunate to work on the design and delivery of the Airport Line in Sydney.

This was one of the first rail tunnels in NSW that did not include personnel refuges within the tunnel, meaning that maintenance workers were not permitted to enter the tunnel while trains were running (in itself a significant safety improvement).

The maintainer and the operator were very heavily involved in the design process and we were able to ensure that as much equipment as possible was placed in the stations where it could be maintained safely rather than in the tunnels.

Warren Truss

Federal Budget: Coalition sticks with “world class” East-West Link

The Federal Budget delivered no major new spending for rail projects, including Inland Rail, but did maintain a $3 billion pledge for Melbourne’s discarded East-West Link tollroad project.

Despite calls from the industry, from the shadow minister for transport and infrastructure Anthony Albanese, and from several states, prime minister Tony Abbott and treasurer Joe Hockey stuck to their guns last night, in favouring urban road spending heavily over rail.

The only rail-centric projects featured in the Budget’s infrastructure spending were those with development already underway, having mostly been started by the former Labor Government.

These included continued funding for the Northern Sydney Freight Corridor in NSW, the Moreton Bay Rail Link in Queensland, and the five-year Freight Rail Revitalisation project in Tasmania.

But despite calls from the ARA and others for a bigger commitment to the Inland Rail project, no new funding was committed by the Federal Government.

Infrastructure minister Warren Truss nonetheless assured that Inland Rail remained a priority, with a promise that the Government would schedule further funding in later Budgets, beyond the existing $300 million commitment.

“Nationally, the Government is committed to lifting the economic performance of our rail freight network,” Truss insisted.

“Inland Rail remains a key commitment to boost our national productivity.

“The Australian Rail Track Corporation is continuing pre-construction work and the final business case, with the delivery plan expected mid-2015.”

Once that final business case has been delivered, Truss said the Government will be in a position to secure more funding.

Meanwhile, the Government reiterated Tony Abbott’s prior position, that any Victorian Government which backed the East-West Link tollroad project would be awarded $3 billion in funding from the Federal level.

Victoria’s new State Government, led by Daniel Andrews, famously scrapped the project after it was kicked off in the lead up to the last election by the former Liberal Government.

Critics of the East-West project have highlighted the poor cost-benefit ratio for the project, estimated in 2013 to be a return of 45 cents for every dollar invested. Project proponents insist that it is a road the city of Melbourne desperately needs. But in scrapping the plan, Premier Andrews made his opinion quite clear: the East-West was a bum steer.

It seems, though, that the Federal Government will not change its mind.

“Tonight the Commonwealth Government has reaffirmed its continuing commitment to the construction of Melbourne’s East West Link, despite the Victorian Government tearing up the project contract,” Truss said on Tuesday evening.

“The Commonwealth Government regards the much-needed East West Link as a project of national significance that will create thousands of jobs and reduce congestion for Victorians.

“The Commonwealth Government will provide $3 billion to the first Victorian Government willing to build the East West Link.”

Recorded in the Budget as a contingent liability, the funding essentially sits, stagnant, waiting for any Victorian Government to take it for the East-West.

“Clearly, the Victorian Government has abandoned responsible governance and created sovereign risk,” Truss opined, “which means the East West Link is being mothballed—delayed but not dead.

“The Victorian Government will waste over half a billion dollars not to build this world class project.

“But the East West Link may still be reinstated at a later date by a government willing to do the right thing by the people of Victoria.”

Truss demanded a return of the $1.5 billion of unspent funding for the project, “consistent with obligations under the Memorandum of Understanding” between Victoria and the Commonwealth.

Truss concluded: “The Commonwealth Government wants to invest in major infrastructure projects of national significance in Victoria should the Victorian Government come forward with credible options.”