Senator Marise Payne, Shadow Minister for COAG, said the Rudd-Gillard Government’s plans for dedicated freight routes will never come to fruition until Labor addresses the overdue COAG reform to harmonise state transport regulations.
“We cautiously welcome the Government’s plans for dedicated freight networks, but until the transport regulators being established through COAG are operational, this is just another Labor promise that stakeholders should take with a large grain of salt,” Senator Payne said.
“This is classic Labor strategy – announce a new reform to take the attention away from the existing reforms that haven’t been completed.
“Kevin Rudd promised that this reform would be a priority for COAG this year, but with Julia Gillard doing her best to pretend Kevin Rudd doesn’t exist, it has again been put on the backburner.
“Under Ms Gillard, nothing has changed. The COAG agenda is still overloaded and all the Government can do is offer new draft strategies for reform without progressing existing reforms.
“Transport regulations and road reforms are one of a number of key COAG business and deregulation reforms that are long overdue.
“The Government must clear the backlog of existing reforms in the business and deregulation area, rather than trying to keep stakeholders in business and industry happy by announcing new plans.”