Victoria Minister for Public Transport Terry Mulder
Major Win For Rail Freight As $5 Million Support Continues
Victor P Taffa
The Victorian Coalition Government is pleased to announce that the $5 Million Rail Freight Support Package will continue in 2011/12, Minister for Public Transport Terry Mulder said today.
“This is a big win for rural residents who will see fewer large trucks on single lane each-way roads such as parts of the Calder, Goulburn Valley, Princes and Western Highways.” Mr. Mulder said.
“Victorian and southern NSW farmers and a wide range of country manufacturers or other businesses will also benefit from rail’s lower transport costs. There are many economic, social and environmental benefits from rail freight.”
“Despite the previous Labor Government’s large cost blowouts including around $1 Billion on Regional Rail Link, the Coalition Government believes that it is vital Victoria’s agricultural and manufacturing sectors have access to the lowest possible freight costs. The Port of Melbourne is Australia’s largest container port. The government wants to ensure that this remains the case.”
Mr. Rodney Clarke of Wimmera Container Line at Horsham said that it was fantastic news.
“We have to do something to free up the roads. This will help to keep rail freight affordable and lower costs for farmers. The Rail Freight Support Package helps to keep smaller export-packing businesses viable.” Mr. Clarke said.
Mr. Barry Gray, CEO of Gray’s Container Terminals at Tocumwal, said the continuation of the Rail Freight Support Package was excellent news.
“It will encourage exporters to continue using rail freight.” Mr. Gray said.
Mr. Mulder said that the Rail Freight Support Package kept freight on rail and off Victoria’s roads.
“Victoria’s broad or standard gauge freight trains haul containers from Horsham, Merbein, Mooroopna and Warrnambool as well as Tocumwal in NSW. The Victorian Government wants to work in partnership with container terminal operators such as Wimmera Container Terminal at Horsham (who will move to Dooen), Wakefield’s at Merbein, Gray’s at Tocumwal and Wettenhall’s at Warrnambool who shift about 35,000 containers each year in total by rail.” Mr. Mulder said.
“The Government’s aim is to increase the amount of freight carried by rail in Victoria. Retention of the Rail Freight Support Package is one step along that journey.” Mr. Mulder said.