Complementary Budget initiatives 2020-21
In the 2020-21 Budget the Australian Government announced four complementary initiatives to Inland Rail. These initiatives will bring benefits by:
- Improving connectivity between people with jobs and services, and goods with markets.
- Improving freight productivity and access to freight gateways.
- Improving road safety for road users.
- Improving efficiency and network reliability.
- Improving freight rail services.
A transcript of the budget announcement can be found here.
Three new initiatives to benefit NSW
Grade separating road interfaces with Inland Rail
The Government is contributing $150 million to improve the road interfaces with Inland Rail in NSW – with the New South Wales Government proposed to contribute a further $37.5 million. The Inland Rail project interfaces with national, state, regional and private roads and this funding commitment will deliver additional grade separations on the alignment in New South Wales and is expected to support 420 direct and indirect jobs.
The delivery of these additional grade separations in New South Wales will improve the efficiency and reliability of the road networks surrounding Inland Rail – supporting the economic growth of regional communities and maximising productivity gains for freight users along the alignment, as well as improving safety outcomes by reducing the number of level crossings.
The Australian Government will continue to work with the New South Wales Government and the Australian Rail Track Corporation to identify and deliver grade separations where Inland Rail interfaces with the road network.
Ettamogah Rail Hub
The Government is providing $2.6 million to support the delivery of 5kms of new arrival and departure sidings at the Ettamogah Rail Hub so that trains calling at the hub can pull off the single track main-line. The Australian Government’s commitment of $2.6 million builds on the $7.6 million already provided by the New South Wales Government and $2.0 million in private sector funding for upgrades and expansion of the Ettamogah Rail Hub.
Currently, trains stop on the mainline to exchange wagons at the hub and this will not be an option once Inland Rail is operational. Delivery of the rail sidings will improve freight productivity and connectivity between regional New South Wales and key markets and is complementary to the Inland Rail project.
The funding is expected to support 20 direct and indirect jobs, with the project expecting to be finished by mid 2021.
Northern NSW Inland Port – Narrabri
The Government is providing $7.75m to support the construction of a 1,800m rail siding with slip road infrastructure to facilitate rail loading and storage capability at the New South Wales Inland Port logistics and Freight Hub in Narrabri. This will support improved freight productivity and connectivity between regional New South Wales and key markets. The Australian Government funding complements the existing New South Wales Government commitment of $16.8 million to the hub.
Infrastructure work to deliver the rail siding and slip road is expected to support 50 direct and indirect jobs, with the project expecting to start in late 2020 and finishing by mid 2021.
Read the media release from the Hon Michael McCormack MP about the infrastructure investments for New South Wales.
$7.5 million for port connectivity in Victoria
Improving Connectivity to Port of Melbourne – Business Case
The Australian Government is providing $7.5 million, for a joint business case with the Victorian Government to improve connectivity to Port of Melbourne, including between the Port and the future Interstate Intermodal Terminal. It is proposed that the Victorian Government also contributes $7.5 million (total $15 million) to undertake the joint business case.
The business case will consider options for improved freight productivity and access to freight gateways that can enhance the connectivity between goods and markets. Improved connectivity to Port of Melbourne complements the Australian Government’s continued commitment to enhance the national freight supply chain and build on the enhanced connectivity of Inland Rail.
This project is expected to start in early 2021 and be finished by mid 2023.
Read the media release from the Hon Michael McCormack MP about the infrastructure investments for Victoria.