JEREMY ROCKLIFF

Today’s announcement by the Infrastructure Minister, Graeme Sturges, confirms that rail has collapsed in Tasmania and the Government has been left to pick up the pieces.

After eleven years of mismanagement, a lack of planning, a lack of risk assessment and absolutely no strategy – yet alone a ‘plan B’ – the Government has been forced to literally pay for its mistakes.

The Infrastructure Minister hasn’t even been able to manage a simple capital improvement program for rail, now he has an entire rail network to look after.

Graeme Sturges now has serious questions to answer, like how much will this cost?

It is unbelievable that the Minister is refusing to say exactly how much this will cost. The Minister needs to remember that this is taxpayers’ money, not his, and he has an obligation to tell Tasmanians.

It must not be forgotten that it was a State Labor Government which sold Tasmania’s rail system for $1 in 1975.

Tasmania needs rail and cannot afford for a bumbling, incompetent minister to get this wrong. This is Minister Sturges’ final, and most important test. There are already significant doubts about his capacity as a Minister. If he cannot get this right then he should resign.

Tasmanians also deserve to know how Tasmania would be paying for this. Will the money ear-marked for urgent, vital capital upgrades now be used to pay out Pacific National?

W: www.willhodgman.com.au