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Monday, December 12, 2005

Federal Rail Offer Amounts To Nought -

Federal Rail Offer Amounts To Nought - Bryan Green, MHA - Tasmanian Government Media Releases

The State Government says Tasmanian taxpayers have been dudded in the Federal Government ?offer? over the State?s railways.

Infrastructure Minister Bryan Green said the so-called offer is costing the Commonwealth nothing because it redirects money from previously committed road funding.

?It?s an unmitigated disaster for Tasmanian roads,? Mr Green said.

?We?ve been bowled a bouncer I can?t get a bat anywhere near.

?The Federal Government is simply ripping off $78 million from Tasmanian roads with one hand to give it to rail with the other.

?This is money the Tasmanian Government was ready to spend on the northern approaches to Hobart to make the Midland Highway safer.?

Mr Green said it appeared Tasmania was being singled out for especially harsh treatment.

?It is not a case of either rail or road funding in other states ? NSW recently received $1 billion for its rail system.

?This is a clear breach of the biggest infrastructure funding agreement between the Commonwealth and Tasmania, signed less than a month ago.

?It?s the height of deception, as this type of deal has never been mentioned in any of the high level negotiations to date.

?The Tasmanian Government has always been willing to contribute, but not willing to pay for entire $120 million out of road funding.

?The Liberals have sold out Tasmania for some short term politicking probably with an eye to next year?s State election.

?This is not a good deal for Tasmania and I wonder what role senior Federal Liberal Senator Eric Abetz had in its formulation.

?Certainly State Liberal leader Rene Hidding has a lot to answer for if he stands by and supports the Federal funding he prematurely suggested should be thrown at rail is ripped away from road works.?


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