ARA hails Federal Budget rail focus

The Australasian Railway Association (ARA) has spoken in support of the $20 billion investment in rail announced by the Federal Government’s in the 2017–2018 Budget.
“The Government’s renewed commitment to rail, including through its $10 billion National Rail Program for urban and regional passenger rail, underscores its importance to Australia and is welcomed by the rail industry,” said Danny Broad, CEO, ARA.
“ARA congratulates the Government’s strong funding commitment to rail in the 2017-2018 budget to boost economic activity and improve the liveability of our cities.”
In particular, Broad applauded the Government’s commitment to Inland Rail through its $8.4 billion equity injection to the Australian Rail Track Corporation.
“The Government’s $8.4 billion commitment to Inland Rail is critical to supporting the delivery of this iconic national freight project,” he said.
“Linking Victoria and regional NSW with Queensland will help get freight off the road and onto rail, address rising congestion in Sydney and will deliver thousands of jobs, many in regional Australia.
“This project will deliver a strong economic contribution to the nation and will enhance productivity and increase consumer freight options.”
Broad noted that the Government’s intention for a public private partnership to progress the Toowoomba to Kagaru tunnel section would the most challenging aspect of the project.
“Whist this capital injection to the ARTC is welcomed, the fact remains that significant work needs to occur to ensure the Inland Rail project comes to fruition,” said Broad. “This includes maximising the economic benefits of this project by delivering efficient linkages that directly connect the railway line to the Port of Melbourne and Port Brisbane.”

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