Big ideas canvassed rail industry roundtable

Media Release

DC265/2017

12 September 2017

  • Infrastructure and Industry Ministers meet with key rail stakeholders today in Canberra.
  • The meeting examined a range of issues that have the potential to grow and improve the rail industry
  • Industry engagement is one part of the Australian Government's commitment to rail, with $20 billion committed in the 2017-18 Budget.

Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester, together with the Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, Senator Arthur Sinodinos and the Minister for Urban Infrastructure, Paul Fletcher, today met with key rail stakeholders in Canberra to canvas ideas for growing Australia's rail industry.

The Board of the Australasian Railway Association today briefed the ministers on the challenges and opportunities associated with one of Australia's key freight and transport sectors.

Mr Chester said engagement with stakeholders, including business and industry groups, was essential for securing a strong national transport system that meets the needs of our freight and passenger rail task in the future.

“Rail plays a significant role in the productivity of our nation, and I am always keen to hear the views of industry on how we can ensure rail continues to meet the needs of both commuters and industry,” Mr Chester said.

“Today's meeting explored a range of issues associated with growing the industry, including discussion about a national rail industry plan.

Mr Chester said rail was a core component of the Australian Government $75 billion infrastructure investment programme, including a $20 million commitment to examine faster rail.

“Through the 2017-18 Budget, the Australian Government committed $20 billion toward the delivery of rail projects, including the $10 billion National Rail Program, and the $8.4 billion Inland Rail,” he said.

“This significant investment will not only support freight operators and commuters, but also directly invest in the rail industry by providing high-quality—and road competitive—rail links.

“Industry engagement will continue to play an important role in ensuring we get the policy and investment settings right.”

Mr Chester said supporting the rail industry—including investing in major projects—had the potential to boost national prosperity.

“The Turnbull-Joyce Government's Inland Rail will deliver 16,000 direct and indirect jobs at the peak of construction,” he said.

“It will stimulate complementary private sector investments, such as fleet upgrades, new metropolitan and regional terminals and integrated freight precincts.

“I am looking forward to seeing the roll-out of the National Rail Program and projects like Inland Rail, Perth Metronet and the Victorian Regional Rail Package.”

For more information on the Australian Government's $75 billion infrastructure investment programme, visit investment.infrastructure.gov.au/