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Expressions of interest for reviving the Blayney-Demondrille rail line can now be called for following the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between five regional councils.
The MOU signing will now allow Transport for NSW to seek interested parties who may want to revive the line; which would provide an alternative route to Port Kembla and Port Botany for thousands of tonnes of heavy freight annually.
"Now that this significant milestone has been reached, we urge Transport for NSW to move quickly to seek expressions of interest for this vital nation-building project," Cowra Mayor, Councillor Bill West said.
The MOU was signed at Blayney this week by the five mayors representing Cowra, Weddin, Harden, Blayney and Young.
"This now clears the way for the State Government to seek expressions of interest as has been the long-standing agreement," Cr West said.
The councils believe the revival of the Blayney-Demondrille Line provides unique opportunities for the diversion of heavy freight off our roads. The line would take the freight to and from ports including Melbourne, Botany, and Port Kembla, avoiding the Blue Mountains and Sydney network rail bottleneck.
Years of lobbying by the five councils into the cost-benefits of the line has created huge interest in rebuilding the infrastructure of the 200km stretch of line which closed in 2009."Our investigations indicate that there are potentially ten-times the level of heavy freight available for this line than is required to make it viable to a Class 3 Standard," Cr West said.
"This memorandum of understanding is another step forward in our aim to have the line re-opened with genuine benefits for the economic development of the region and the State," Cr West said.
This article first appeared on www.cowraguardian.com.au
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