The NSW Government has announced $137 million will be spent on inland railway upgrades across regional areas of the state. This huge influx in funding will see a ripple effect throughout the entire transport industry with thousands of trucks taken off rural roads in favour for a more efficient and productive rail system.

The upgrades far-reaching effects will benefit our small businesses and the agricultural sector with lower transport costs helping lower the price of goods at the checkout.

Eleven projects have been given the green-light to receive funding from the program in an attempt to streamline and improve overall transport efficiency throughout the state. NSW Roads and Freight Minister Melinda Pavey pointed said the upgrades were designed so that primary producers could get their products to market more efficiently.

“These upgrades are focused on improving freight movement between the key freight hubs – farms, grain silos, saleyards, railheads, supermarket distribution centres and depots,” she said.

Member for Barwon Kevin Humphries also said the upgrades within his electorate would put hard-earned money back into the pockets of local farmers and businesses and the Bellata upgrade would see a big improvement in road safety.

“The project at Bellata will mean around 700 trucks will be removed from our roads and in Condobolin, 900 trucks will also be taken off the road,” he said.

Further developments in the Barwon electorate include the Condobolin rail siding upgrade which sees the removal of a level-crossing and an upgrade in signaling. As well as this the Cobar to Narromine line development will increase efficiency whilst taking 33,000t of grain freight off of NSW roads.

The Griffith to Junee line will receive a $60 million injection to improve the 174 km section of track between the two ports which will allow for greater axle loads and increased track speeds, improving access to the vital southern rail line. It is projected this upgrade will shift over 200,00t of road freight onto rail line. Nationals MP, Austin Evans, said the benefits this upgrade offers to the agriculture region of his electorate of Murray will see the wine, rice and cotton industries improve their bottom lines.

The announcement of the 13km renovation of the South Coast line between Berry and Bomaderry has been  welcomed by large regional employer, The Manildra Group, with their logistics manager proclaiming 350,000t of freight will be moved onto rail, removing 10,000 trucks a year off of a busy passageway and improving one of their port efficiencies by 33 per cent, opening further opportunities to expand and employ more regional workers.

Improvements are also scheduled for Narromine with the railway yard expanding to accommodate 1500m long trains. Member for Dubbo, Troy Grant, said the news was great for Dubbo.

“These projects will cut delivery times, allow more goods to be moved by rail and reduce costs for producers and consumers.”

The Ettamogah Rail Hub was also granted $7.5 million to develop 5.5km of siding throughout Albury whilst the electorate of Orange will benefit from funding set aside to improve the Red Bend rail network with $970,000 to be spent on many aspects of the site including connections to existing infrastructure. Further developments to rail networks in and around Goulburn are also to receive funding and the connections to ports in Newcastle will benefit from an injection of $3.3 million for the Port Waratah Yard.

With Nationals MP’s being the driving force behind inland rail developments, the Nationals have again illustrated their commitment to regional NSW. These upgrades provide avenues for future sustained employment along with regional development and connectivity within major regional hubs and metropolitan cities for trade and transport.

For more information on Transport for NSW freight projects, visit freight.transport.nsw.gov.au.