Rail line re­opens for freight

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - News -

The his­toric Mary­bor­ough to Ararat rail line has re­opened, with driver train­ing un­der­way on the $440-mil­lion Mur­ray Basin Rail Project.

Deputy Prime Min­is­ter and In­fra­struc­ture and Trans­port Min­is­ter Barn­aby Joyce said the 87-kilo­me­tre Mary­bor­ough to Ararat rail cor­ri­dor, which closed in the early 2000s, was set to re­turn as a freight line, boost­ing re­gional pri­mary pro­duc­ers and ex­porters.

“Vic­to­ria’s Mur­ray Basin is a na­tion­ally im­por­tant pro­ducer and ex­porter of grain, min­eral sands, fruit, veg­eta­bles and wine,” he said.

“The Mur­ray Basin Rail Project is an in­vest­ment in these in­dus­tries, the com­pet­i­tive­ness of our port and freight op­er­a­tors and Aus­tralia’s econ­omy.”

Mem­ber for Wan­non and Min­is­ter for So­cial Ser­vices Dan Te­han and Vic­to­rian Pub­lic Trans­port Min­is­ter Jac­inta Al­lan in­spected the line at Avoca last week.

Mr Te­han said the project was sup­port­ing farm­ers, their fam­i­lies and the re­gion’s econ­omy by in­vest­ing in trans­port in­fra­struc­ture.

“The over­ar­ch­ing project will be a game changer for rail freight in Vic­to­ria and will pro­vide a vi­able al­ter­na­tive to road freight,” he said.

“More than 500 work­ers, in­clud­ing 220 from re­gional Vic­to­ria, have been em­ployed on the Aus­tralian and Vic­to­rian gov­ern­ment-funded project, with more than 40 busi­nesses from cen­tral Vic­to­ria en­gaged to pro­vide a range of ser­vices.”

A phased re­turn of freight ser­vices to the Mil­dura line is also un­der­way, with sec­tions of the track pro­gres­sively open­ing from south to north.

The Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment has com­mit­ted $240.2-mil­lion and the State Gov­ern­ment $199.8-mil­lion to fund the Mur­ray Basin Rail Project.

Con­struc­tion is due for com­ple­tion by late 2018. Peo­ple can visit www.mur­ray­bas­in­rail project.com.au for more in­for­ma­tion.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.