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Several rail infrastructure projects have been identified as key to boosting the capacity at Newcastle port and creating jobs in the Hunter.
Two infrastructure planning documents, commissioned by the Federal Government, have been released today.
More than a dozen rail and road projects have been identified as needing funding.
Some of the projects include bypasses of the New England Highway at Singleton and Muswellbrook, and upgrades to the New England Highway.
Regional Development Australia Hunter CEO Todd Williams says the plans also recognise the importance of preserving freight corridors.
"It's basically about productivity," he said.
"Why we're really interested in it is that the Hunter Expressway is about to open, the Port of Newcastle is being privatised.
"There's a great opportunity to make sure that we get good services and products, and freight/cargo, and utilise what we've got in the Hunter better, and also increase that capacity.
"If we get more products that come out of the Hunter, the end result is of course to create more jobs."
A significant upgrade of the Hunter's Golden Highway has been touted as key to reducing the number of freight trucks on the region's roads.
Mr Williams says there are numerous blockages along the region's main roads.
"Anyone who's been up the valley knows that there's choke points everywhere," he said.
"One of the key parts to this is about the Golden Highway.
"It's about getting goods and services and freight more effectively from western New South Wales down to the Hunter, so we're actually saying that it's going to make less trucks on the road.
"But the opportunity for people to import and export by getting the Golden Highway upgraded is really important."
This article first appeared on www.abc.net.au
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