New rail funding in Victoria to support infrastructure jobs welcomed by ARA
The Australasian Railway Association (ARA) has welcomed more than $300 million in additional funding for the Regional Rail Revival programme to help create more infrastructure jobs in Victoria.
ARA‘s Chief Executive Officer, Caroline Wilkie, said the Commonwealth and Victorian government funding would boost work already underway to upgrade regional passenger lines in Victoria: “Stronger rail connections to and from Melbourne will be good for regional economies and their communities. This funding will help support infrastructure jobs in regional Victoria at a time when every job counts. It is good to see funding going to a project that is creating jobs and will improve connectivity between Melbourne and the rest of the state for the long-term.”
Regional Rail Revival is delivered by the Commonwealth and Victorian governments and has already completed some upgrades to rail lines and stations in the regions.
The additional $307.3 million funding was announced as part of new funding confirmed for shovel-ready infrastructure projects in Victoria to support the state’s economic recovery.
An ARA member survey of rail suppliers, contractors and freight operators found maintaining current projects and funding stimulus projects were the two most important actions governments could take to support the industry as it responds to COVID-19.
Caroline said it was important that governments maintained a strong pipeline of rail projects to ensure infrastructure jobs could be maintained beyond the life of initial stimulus projects.