Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter Scot MacDonald MLC today announced applications are open for the first round of Fixing Country Rail funding, which is targeted at improving freight movements across NSW, and is encouraging Hunter stakeholders to apply.
“The $150 million provided for this first round is part of the $400 million Fixing Country Rail initiative, which will deliver a highly functional transport network across the state for moving freight in and out of regional areas and will ease pressure on our local roads,” Mr MacDonald said.
Mr MacDonald encouraged everyone across the regional freight industry to nominate Fixing Country Rail projects – including producers, councils, transporters, intermodal terminal operators and infrastructure managers.
“While Fixing Country Rail funding will only be allocated to rail asset owners and managers, input from the people who produce and move freight will be critical for ensuring we get the best ‘bang for buck’ with any upgrades,” Mr MacDonald said.
“It will fund infrastructure enhancements on the Country Regional Network, ARTC leased network and other rail assets owned by the NSW Government.
“It will also deliver rail upgrades such as rail sidings, passing loops, reinstating non-operational rail lines and track upgrades to enable increased axel weights.
Transport for NSW recently funded a number of projects under the Fixing Country Rail pilot program that are making a big difference to freight operations in regional areas of NSW.
“We’re already seeing the benefits in region from this program. The recently completed $1.1 million upgrade of the Burren Junction site, one of the pilot programs funded last year, is already delivering benefits,” Mr MacDonald said.
“For every additional train leaving Burren Junction 70 trucks are being removed from the roads network and producers are saving up to $9 a tonne, while the extended siding has meant big savings in wagon loading times.”
Mr MacDonald said the program complements the highly successful Fixing Country Roads, which is all about improving freight movements between farms, key freight hubs like grain silos, saleyards, rail heads, supermarket distribution centres and depots.
“Under these initiatives, everyone will be a winner – whether you’re a farmer, a community member, a council or a local business – you are set to benefit,” Mr MacDonald said.
For more information on Transport for NSW freight projects, visit freight.transport.nsw.gov.au
Scot MacDonald | 0408 450 032