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Poor management and penny pinching may ultimately result in it being found out very early in the piece that the standardised Murray Basin Railway will end up with inferior operational flexibility and capability compared to its existing broad gauge counterpart.
AN ALLIANCE of 26 rural councils has launched a savage attack on the Bracks Government's $10 billion transport package because it ignores the Victorian regional rail network.
The Alliance of Councils for Rail Freight Development said the "$10.5 billion extravaganza" allocated only half of 1 per cent to the country rail freight network. The alliance covers municipalities in west and central Victoria and the Riverina.
Glenelg Shire's Cr Geoff White, who is alliance chairman, welcomed the proposal to spend $53 million on upgrading the rail line to Mildura.
But this was conditional on the Federal Government reallocating the $20 million AusLink funding set aside for standardisation to merely upgrading the line, he said. The main rail line from Melbourne to Mildura is the broader gauge.