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Infrastructure Australia has added three major projects to its Infrastructure Priority List. Along with the Murray Basin Rail Project, the independent infrastructure advisor also gave its backing to the Bringelly Road Stage 2 Project, and the Melbourne Metro Project.
“The Australian Government has committed $220 million to the Murray Basin Rail Project which will give farmers from the region access to Victoria’s ports in a more efficient and cost-competitive way,” said Minister for Urban Infrastructure, Paul Fletcher.
“The Murray Basin Rail Project will help address capacity constraints on the existing freight rail network, which includes standardising rail gauges along the route, as well as increasing axle loadings to 21 tonnes to allow trains to run at full capacity.
“In addition, we are also delivering major upgrades through the $3.6 billion Western Sydney Infrastructure Plan including the $509 million Bringelly Road upgrade. The Australian Government has committed $407 million to this upgrade, which is being delivered in two stages.
The Australian Logistics Council (ALC) welcomed IA’s support of the rail development. “ALC supports Infrastructure Australia as the impartial umpire when it comes to recommending infrastructure investment to the Commonwealth Government,” said Michael Kilgariff, Managing Director, ALC.
“The announcement…shows that the Murray Basin Rail Project has strong economic benefits and will improve the efficiency of the Victorian and national freight network,” he added.
Kilgariff highlighted the benefits to Victorian freight and the Victorian economy. “The Murray Basin Rail Project will allow up to 500,000 more tonnes of grain, and 450,000 tonnes of general freight, to be moved by rail each year,” he said.
“Ports will also potentially benefit from the increased freight load, with an incentive to invest and add new jobs to manage the increasing rail freight.
Kilgariff noted that the Murray Basin Rail Project would reinforce the need for clarity around the regional freight network. In particular, he said, the project should cause the Victorian Government to look at how connections between the regional freight network and ports can be further improved.”
Tenders for the project close next month.
This article first appeared on logisticsmagazine.com.au
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