The Australian Government realises the importance of rail infrastructure to the Australian people.
Australia faces significant challenges in meeting its infrastructure needs with the freight task set to double over the next 20 years, and treble along the eastern seaboard. The Australian Government is focusing its investment in rail on infrastructure that improves national productivity, and supports our freight task.
Melbourne – Brisbane Inland Railway
The Australian Government has committed to building a new key piece of national infrastructure by constructing an Inland Railway between Melbourne and Brisbane via central-west NSW and Toowoomba.
The Australian Government has committed $300 million to enable Inland Rail to commence in 2014 starting with pre-construction activities such as detailed corridor planning, environmental assessments, community consultation as well as commencing land acquisition. Delivery of Inland Rail is being guided by the 2010 Inland Rail Alignment Study undertaken by the Australian Rail Track Corporation on behalf of the Australian Government.
Inland Rail is an investment in strategic infrastructure for the future, providing capacity to serve the east coast freight market for the next half century and beyond. Inland Rail will be an important contributor to national productivity by reducing train operating costs and improving service standards.
Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC)
With the agreement of mainland state governments, the Australian Government established ARTC in 1998 to manage and develop Australia's interstate track infrastructure as a single entity. This is achieved through ownership or long term leases of the interstate track. ARTC currently owns or leases interstate track from Kalgoorlie to Acacia Ridge in QLD.
ARTC is a public company whose shares are wholly owned by the Australian Government and operates the interstate freight rail track on a commercially sustainable basis. It is financed by a mix of fees charged to commercial operators to access the track that it maintains, revenue received from maintenance contracts, Australian Government equity, commercial borrowings and direct grants from the Australian Government.
Details of ARTC's current investment programme can be found on the ARTC website.
Moorebank Intermodal Freight Terminal
The Australian Government is facilitating the delivery of a major intermodal facility in the south west of Sydney to provide a rail ‘port shuttle’ between Port Botany and the Moorebank precinct, as well as warehousing and a separate terminal for interstate freight.
The port shuttle terminal will have capacity for up to 1.2 million containers, vastly improving efficiency and productivity while relieving congestion on Sydney's roads. Additional capacity for 500,000 containers will become available at a later stage when the interstate freight terminal commences operation.
The government business enterprise, the Moorebank Intermodal Company, is fully operational. The Company will act as a landlord and undertake an open and transparent competitive tender for the development and operation of the site. The private sector will design, build and operate the site as a common user intermodal terminal.
The Moorebank Intermodal Terminal will boost productivity and improve transport links in Australia's biggest city. It will enable freight travelling through Sydney to and from Port Botany to be transported on rail instead of the road network, providing cheaper and more efficient freight transportation. The project will also provide a jobs boost for south western Sydney.
The interstate terminal will take pressure off rural and regional roads and enhance the freight rail network, to help make rail freight a real competitor to road freight and benefit everyone in the national supply chain who needs to move goods.
The Australian Government is funding the relocation of the Moorebank Defence Units to make available a 220 hectare site for the project to provide for the intermodal terminal facilities required now and into the future. In doing so, Defence capability and operational preparedness will also be enhanced through the development of a modern, purpose-built facility at Holsworthy Barracks.
The total benefits of the project have been estimated at $10 billion. These include:
- Once up and running, the IMT could remove 1.2 million trucks each year from Sydney's roads from 2020—that's equivalent to 3300 trucks per day, relieving widespread traffic congestion associated with freight movements to and from Port Botany.
- Faster freight transport and reduced costs to business.
- Reduced fuel use and diesel emissions.
- 1650 full time jobs during construction of the port shuttle terminal and a further 975 jobs during construction of the interstate terminal, with 1700 ongoing jobs in the region once the facility and associated warehouses are open.
Projects like Moorebank link Australia's freight networks and our ports, drive productivity, improve our logistics industries, and create long term efficiencies that will benefit our cities and our economy into the future.