$2.2 million to investigate Maroona to Portland rail upgrade

The Australian Government has committed $2.2 million to fund a business case that will evaluate the upgrade of the Maroona to Portland Port Rail Line in south-western Victoria.

Key stakeholders have been advocating to upgrade the line from 19 tonne axle loads (TAL) to 23 TAL to strengthen the competitiveness of the line and benefit from adjoining lines with higher axle loads.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Barnaby Joyce said the decision to fund a business case builds on the work done by the Port of Portland which provided a preliminary economic case for the upgrade.

“We have enlisted the Australian Rail Track Corporation to prepare a business case focusing on a detailed analysis of the benefits as well as a market engagement process to determine what volumes could be attracted to the line,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.

“Our Government is committed to improving freight across our regions, cities and ports, to provide regional Australia with the best pathways to get products to domestic and international markets.

“The more products and commodities we export, the more money we earn to become as strong as possible as quickly as possible.”

Federal Member for Wannon Dan Tehan said the Australian Government is committed to building infrastructure that will secure our supply chains into the future.

“The business case will determine the full extent of the level of upgrade needed including scope, benefits and beneficiaries, and it will be completed in eighteen weeks” Mr Tehan said.

“Our Government has listened to calls to explore upgrading the capacity of Maroona to Portland Rail Line and this business case demonstrates our commitment to delivering a stronger future for our regions and for Victorians.”

The business case is expected to be completed later this year.

For more information about ARTC projects, visit www.artc.com.au/projects.

Media contacts:

Deputy Prime Minister – Antony Perry | 0477 971 654 | Antony.Perry@infrastructure.gov.au

Mr Tehan Cate Mercer-Grant | 0408 564232 | Cate.Mercer-Grant@aph.gov.au