FRANKSTON MP Paul Edbrooke has branded the Baxter line business case as “on track” for completion to alleviate concerns over its progress.
Mr Edbrooke told The Times that the case “isn’t late. Any dialogue about the state government being at fault for the federal government being unable to deliver their project which has zero funds committed to it this financial year is plain wrong.”
“If the federal government wanted the business case done earlier, they should have delivered the $3 million in funding for it earlier,” he said.
The original state government media release from April 2018 announcing the beginning of the business case said it would be “expected to be finalised in early 2019”. Mr Edbrooke said “it would always take 12-18 months to complete once business case funding was received.”
He said the federal government’s announced funding was providing a roadblock to any work beginning.
“The federal government’s own budget shows only $10 million funding for the next financial year,” he said.
“It’s going to take a long time with only approximately a quarter of the funding budgeted. If they wanted to start it they would have budgeted near $1 billion.”
Dunkley MP Chris Crewther tried to derail Mr Edbrooke’s argument that the project was not properly funded. He said ““the Liberal National government has delivered $228 million for this project, only to see Labor kick this project down the road and invest nothing.”
Mr Crewther accused the state government of “playing politics” by “delaying the commencement of the business plan to begin with and now delaying the completion of the business plan”.
“This issue is of such little importance to Labor, they could not be bothered to even fund a business case for the project,” he said.
“The only reason the business case was able to proceed was thanks to $3 million in funding, delivered by the Liberal National government. Labor has left $228 million in delivered federal funding sitting at the station, all to play politics on this vital issue.”