Rail on track for Australia's economic and social future

Media Release

WT393/2015

26 November 2015

A new report on Australian rail to be released at the AusRail gala dinner in Melbourne this evening outlines the key role freight, urban and non-urban passenger rail plays in the national economy.

Acting Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss will present TRAINLINE 3 to rail enthusiasts and industry experts from across the Australasian region and outline the Australian Government's commitments to rail.

Trainline 3 is a joint annual publication from the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics and the Australasian Railway Association,” Mr Truss said.

“The publication provides an overview of freight, urban and non-urban passenger rail. The report reveals that the end of the mining construction boom has transformed into a production boom and rail is moving more bulk tonnage than ever.

“Australian railways moved almost 1.3 billion tonnes of bulk freight in 2013–14. Western Australia moved 70 per cent of national rail freight tonnage, predominantly carrying iron ore.

“On the passenger side, Australia's rail network transported approximately 627 million passengers in 2013–14, with Sydney carrying 272.5 million via heavy rail and Melbourne moving 177 million passengers via light rail in the same year.”

Mr Truss said the Australian Government is committed to investing in rail projects that deliver economic benefits to Australia including freight rail, inland rail, the intermodal sector and passenger rail.

“Rail is no longer only being viewed as just a long distance and bulk carrier. Indeed, freight rail will need to play an increasingly important role in the movement of goods across the short distances between ports and inland freight terminals,” he said.

“The development of the Moorebank Intermodal Terminal will enable future expansion of Port Botany's container handling capacity, and investment and employment opportunities in Western Sydney.

“The project will create around 7,700 ongoing operating jobs and more than 1,300 construction jobs in south-west Sydney.”

“Effective rail connections to our national ports are vital for economic growth, and the Government is committed to enhancing these connections.

“The Australian Governent is also committed to deliver Inland Rail which carries clear benefits for rail freight. It promises to deliver economic benefits of around $22.5 billion and create up to 16,000 direct jobs during it's 10-year construction period.”

Mr Truss said the Australian Government recognises that investment in public transport is critical to easing congestion and boosting productivity in major cities and regions.

“Our $4.2 billion Asset Recycling Initiative, a key element of the Infrastructure Growth Package includes $60 million to support light rail development in the ACT,” he said.

“The Australian Government's Infrastructure Investment Programme includes $95 million towards the second stage of the Gold Coast Light Rail which will link the Gold Coast and Brisbane and will be delivered in time for the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

“Up to $1.6 billion will also be contributed from the Asset Recycling initiative towards urban rail projects in NSW including the Sydney Rapid Transit and a second harbor crossing.

Trainline 3 is available to access online at www.bitre.gov.au.