Local campaign pays off

Member for Ripon Louise Staley has welcomed the State Governments announcement to support the Murray Basin rail project, marking the successful end of an intense two year local campaign by Ms Staley to get local freight rail lines standardised.

Local farmers were big winners from the announcement which will see the rail freight lines re-established between Donald and Dunolly, Charlton and Dunolly, Dunolly to Maryborough and Maryborough to Ararat.

$220 Million of funding for this project was initially budgeted by the former Liberal- Nationals State Government in 2014 following the sale of the Rural Finance Corporation.

Today’s announcement by the State Government marks the end of a persistent campaign by Ms Staley to get this this project funded, which included Ms Staley walking along the line with local advocate Marg Pilgrim in October last year to raise awareness for reestablishment of a freight line between Ararat and Maryborough.

Ms Staley said she was relieved the Andrews Government had finally seen some sense and decided against taking this money away from country Victoria in favour of other Melbourne based projects.

“This is a great result for central and Western Victoria, I am thankful that after a long campaign of consistently advocating for this project the State Government has finally seen some light”. Ms Staley said.

“This has come as a pleasant surprise, after spending the majority of the Parliamentary term constantly badgering the Andrews Government into supporting this vital project I have never seen them show any signs of support for this until now”.

“This project is extremely important to local grain growers, it makes exporting produce much easier and more affordable”.

“It’s a great that Daniel Andrews has finally broken his silence on this crucial project, this is a big reward for a strong community campaign”.