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Victorian agriculture minister Jaala Pulford says port competitiveness was a key factor in deciding to invest in the upgrade of the rail network in north-western Victoria.
The $220m Murray Basin project standardises or upgrades the entire Murray Basin freight network improving safety, capacity and freight service reliability right across northern and western Victoria, better connecting farmers with the ports of Geelong, Portland and Melbourne.
Speaking at the Australian Grains Industry Conference in Melbourne, Pulford said progress was now “well and truly under way on this very significant infrastructure project”.
“When we were considering the business case finalising that work and considering a range of options about how to do this, improving port competitiveness was a significant factor,” Pulford told the conference.
“This will remove around 20,000 truck trips to the ports each year and great progress is being made.
“Many tens of thousands of sleepers (have been) laid and (we are) transitioning from stage-1 of that project to stage-2.”
She noted a significant contribution from the federal government.
“The Victorian government was prepared to go on our own way, but we very much welcome the federal government’s contribution.”
This article was originally published by Rail Express affiliate Lloyd’s List Australia.
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