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A local state MP says the Victorian Government has no excuse to not replace ageing rolling stock on north-east regional rail lines.

A NEW railway across the top of Australia linking Kununurra in the remote east Kimberley region with Darwin is under consideration.

Federal Minister for Regional Australia Simon Crean backed the need for a new rail line connecting to Darwin's port to realise the food bowl potential of northern Australia.

Northern Territory Chief Minister Terry Mills said he had discussed with Mr Crean whether the federal government would pay for a new northern rail corridor to Darwin, as part of joint talks on the expansion of the Ord irrigation scheme across the border from the east Kimberley into the NT.

But Mr Crean said he hoped private enterprise would fund any new rail link, as corporations such as Chinese property development company Shanghai Zhongfu prepare to turn remote bush country into vast irrigated sugar cane plains with a $700 million investment.

THE man fronting an inquiry into the state government’s handling of contentious high-rise and rail decisions in Newcastle has joined calls to delay the planned halt to city train services until his inquiry’s findings are handed down.

Reverend Fred Nile, who will chair the committee running the inquiry, said the government’s move to stop rail services from Boxing Day was being rushed and was ‘‘ignoring the vast amount of concern in the community’’ generated by recent hearings before the ICAC.

Arriving in Newcastle on Thursday night ahead of a two-day visit, Rev Nile told the Herald that he had been ‘‘pressured’’ by the state government to oppose the inquiry, and that he hoped to release an interim report on his committee’s findings before Christmas.

Truck curfew battlelines drawn

Posted in Other Transport News on 2013-04-24 16:44:53

THE biggest expansion of inner west truck curfews in a decade is facing stiff opposition from major industry and VicRoads.

A report to last night's Maribyrnong Council community and services special committee recommended that the council lobby the state government to introduce a curfew on Moore Street, Footscray, and extend current weekend curfews to operate between 8pm Friday and 6am Monday.

The recommendations stem from a review by the truck curfew review committee (TCRC), made up of three Maribyrnong councillors and representatives of VicRoads, Hobsons Bay Council, Victoria Police, EPA, Department of Transport, Port of Melbourne Corporation, Transport Workers Union and affected residents.

Yarraville night and weekend truck curfews were introduced on Somerville Road in 2001 and in Francis Street the following year.

WHAT did Victorians do wrong to be saddled with a government as hopelessly inept as the one led by Premier Dan Andrews? If the people always get the government they deserve then Victorians must truly be a wicked lot of miscreants.

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