The Australasian Railway Association (ARA) welcomes the Commonwealth and the New South Wales Government’s Bilateral Agreement that provides a green light to Inland Rail works in NSW and also confirmation that $300 million will be provided in next week’s Federal Budget towards the duplication of the freight rail line from Port Botany to Enfield.

“This is much welcomed news that New South Wales is now the second state to come on board showing their commitment to the Inland Rail project, and further Commonwealth investments to the tune of $300 million are locked away in next week’s Federal Budget towards the duplication of the freight rail line from Port Botany to Enfield,” said ARA CEO, Danny Broad.

“This is good for the city, good for the bush, good for supply chain efficiency and good for Australia.

“The need for a national rail freight supply chain is a vital ingredient to an efficient and well connected freight network, with strong links to our ports, which will ensure strong connectivity from our places of production to export.

“The ARA has been a vocal advocate for the Port Botany duplication, with the project featuring prominently in our NSW Freight Strategy and the National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy submissions to both NSW and Commonwealth Governments.

“This duplication is one of Infrastructure Australia’s ‘High Priority Initiatives’ and is needed to alleviate growing road congestion; support growing intermodal operations in outer Western Sydney and position the port to meet rising freight demand.

“Investing in projects like the duplication of the Port Botany rail line will help address Sydney’s rising congestion issues and support the objective of the New South Wales Government to increase rail share to and from Port Botany.

“Both of these announcements are great news for the rail industry, providing opportunities for action for the betterment of Australia’s rail infrastructure.

“The ARA recognises and supports the ARTC’s efforts to work with landowners and communities along the alignment to deliver the Project.

“The facts are clear – road freight produces 14 times greater accident costs than rail freight per tonne kilometre and road freight produces 16 times as much carbon pollution as rail freight per tonne kilometre, making long haul rail freight the most viable option.

“We are committed to the Inland Rail Project and are working with the Australian Logistics Council, with support from the ARTC and Parkes Shire in delivering the Inland Rail Conference on 18 and 19 July,” Danny Broad concluded.