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ALP: Moving Australia forward by investing in rail's future

Started by ozbob, August 07, 2010, 13:36:42 PM

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Moving Australia forward by investing in rail's future

Moving Australia forward by investing in rail's future

Anthony Albanese posted Thursday, 5 August 2010

A re-elected Gillard Labor Government will begin the work needed for the Inland Rail Link.  The rail link will be some 1,700 kilometres long, with rail stretching from Brisbane to Melbourne through Central West New South Wales.

Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Anthony Albanese, made the announcement at the Infrastructure Partnerships Australia conference in Melbourne.

The identified route will involve upgrading 430 kilometres of existing track and laying 600 kilometres of new track.

"This visionary nation building infrastructure project will create a rich new corridor of jobs and economic benefits right through our inland regional communities, passing through Parkes, Moree and Toowoomba. It will provide a boost to our national economy and regional industries, especially agriculture and mining," Anthony Albanese said.

The new line is expected to be:

·         Seven hours faster.

·         170 km shorter than the current coastal rail route.

·         More reliable with better availability.

·         More competitive on transit time.

·         More competitive on freight door-to-door prices.

The Inland Rail Link will take trucks off highways and pressure off the existing North‑South line through Sydney.

If re-elected, pre-construction activities will start in late 2014.

The commitment follows the completion of the Inland Rail Study by the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) that Federal Labor commissioned shortly after coming to office.

After more than two years of intensive work and extensive community consultation, the Study concluded the project:

·         Has long term merit.

·         Would become economically viable as early as 2030.

·         Would deliver transit times of less than 22 hours, putting it on a competitive footing with road.

"Our success in the globalised economy of the twenty first century will largely depend on the quality of our infrastructure. That's why this Federal Labor Government has been rolling out a record capital works program," Anthony Albanese said.

"There's been no bigger supporter than this Federal Labor Government to the investment in rail in this country.

"In less than three years, we've corrected the long standing funding imbalance that favoured road, and increased annual spending on rail ten-fold to an unprecedented $9 billion over six years.

"We will set aside funding in the next Nation Building Program to complete the detailed planning and undertake the land acquisitions necessary to preserve the corridor and prepare the route."

The Study puts the cost of building the Inland Rail Link at $4.7 billion over eight years, including three years of pre-construction activities. A re-elected Gillard Labor Government will lead the project in partnership with relevant stakeholders.

Federal funding towards the construction works on this project will come from the next rounds of the Nation Building Program, commencing in 2014-15, beyond the forward estimates.

The full Inland Rail Study can be downloaded at: www.artc.com.au.
Half baked projects, have long term consequences ...
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