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A new corridor of commerce

The Hon Darren Chester MP, Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, considers the long-term vision of the Turnbull-Joyce Government designed to unlock the potential of our regions and cities, by improving connectivity, productivity, and liveability.

It is no secret that the Turnbull-Joyce Government is backing regional Australia and investing in regional Australia.
 
We are determined to build a safer, stronger, and better regional Australia where everyone can get ahead.
 
One of the fundamental reasons that the Turnbull-Joyce Government has committed to a once-in-a-generation $75 billion infrastructure budget for critical airport, road and rail projects, is to ensure that our all-important supply chain, moving people and freight around the country, flows quicker, safer and more efficiently.
 
Our record investment supports a long-term vision designed to unlock the potential of our regions and cities, by improving connectivity, productivity, and liveability.
 
Further proof of our investment in regional Australia was the funding announcement of the Inland Rail project to transform Australia’s freight network and boost regional growth.
 
We will increase the efficiency and safety of our land transport infrastructure while strengthening the Australian economy, through better connections for Australian businesses and industries transporting products to domestic and international markets.

Our record investment supports a long-term vision designed to unlock the potential of our regions and cities, by improving connectivity, productivity, and liveability.
The Hon Darren Chester MP, Minister for Infrastructure and Transport

The Inland Rail project between Melbourne and Brisbane, will have a significant impact on the transport and logistics sector, including the movement of agricultural product.
 
In the NFF Budget Report Card, the Australian Government’s $8.4 billion commitment to seeing the Inland Rail become a reality was described as “hitting a home run…exceeding industry expectations”.
 
When completed, the Inland Rail will provide a high-capacity and high-performance, 1,700 kilometre freight rail corridor between Melbourne and Brisbane.
 
Around 16,000 jobs will be supported during the peak of construction, both direct and indirect, and an additional 700 jobs are expected to be created once operational.
 
A typical train travelling on the Inland Rail line will have the capacity of 108 B-Doubles and will be capable of moving double-stacked containers along the corridor in under twenty-four hours.
 
Many goods may not begin their journey at either end of the Inland Rail line, but in the middle—in regional Australia.
 
For example, higher capacity trains, supported by higher axle loads, have the potential to unlock new export markets for Australia’s strategic coal reserves.  
 
The Inland Rail will enable faster, more efficient market access for primary producers, especially for large-volume grain and cotton harvests.
 
It is estimated that this project will attract two million tonnes of agricultural freight from road to rail, significantly reducing congestion on major regional supply routes.
 
The decision to fund the construction of the Inland Rail will give regional businesses the certainty needed to invest in export growth.
 
Businesses will also be able to tackle freight delivery costs head on, with freight travelling the entire route from Melbourne to Brisbane expected to be reduced by ten dollars per tonne.
 
The project will also provide opportunities for new and existing freight hubs, such as Wodonga and the outskirts of Melbourne.

Minister Chester was in Rockhampton – announcing funding under the Northern Australia Roads Programme

Once it is built, this rail link will save lives and reduce serious injuries by taking thousands of trucks off our roads every year, and reduce congestion in our cities.

Other Australian government investments include the $10 billion over the next decade for the National Rail Program.
 
The National Rail Program will fund transformational projects to more efficiently connect our cities, suburbs, and surrounding regional areas.  
 
On completion, these projects will lift national productivity and drive economic growth.
 
The prospect of significantly lowering the cost of transporting regionally produced goods to global and domestic markets is one of the most exciting benefits of the government’s agenda, and this iconic Inland Rail freight project will be a game changer.

The Hon Darren Chester MP is Minister for Infrastructure and Transport and Federal Member for Gippsland

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