Government support for rail to connect cities and freight welcomed by ARA

Posted: 15 May 2020 | | No comments yet

The Australasian Railway Association (ARA) has welcomed the Federal Government’s response to the recent ‘Building Up & Moving Out’ report which highlights the critical role rail will continue to play in the development of Australia’s cities and freight networks.

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Caroline Wilkie, Chief Executive Officer of the Australasian Railway Association (ARA), has acknowledged that the government’s support for more faster rail connections and a freight network that prioritises rail recognised the value of the rail industry to the Australian economy and community.

The government agreed with the inquiry’s recommendation to give priority to the development of a national freight network, with an emphasis on multimodal integration.

Caroline said: “We have seen during this current pandemic how important our freight networks are and rail is a crucial part of that. It is good to see the inquiry’s emphasis on rail and we support the recommendation to separate freight and passenger movements where possible to make our rail networks the most efficient they can be. Improved rail freight networks will help reduce emissions when compared to road freight and deliver long-term value for business and industry.”

ARA‘s CEO welcomed the recommendation that planning at all levels include freight as a priority to support the efficient movement of goods within, and between, capital cities. The report also recognised the importance of rail connections between capital cities and regional centres.

“The government’s response recognises that faster rail will make it easier for people living in regional centres to connect to work and other opportunities in their capital city,” added Caroline. We are pleased the government has affirmed its ambition to use faster rail to connect the satellite cities of Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane to their capitals within the next 20 years.”

The Building Up & Moving Out report outlines the recommendations of the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Infrastructure, Transport and Cities following its inquiry into the Australian Government’s role in the development of cities.