Federal and state politicians are talking up the benefits of the Murray Basin Rail Network
WORK is occurring on a joint Commonwealth/Victoria project to improve the Murray Basin Rail network, with major sleeper replacement works now underway.
Deputy Prime Minister and federal infrastructure minister Michael McCormack and Victorian infrastructure minister Jacinta Allan said almost 70,000 new sleepers were now being installed between Korong Vale and Sea Lake.
McCormack said the project would keep rail freight moving efficiently for generations to come.
“In December last year, the Federal Government announced an additional $200.2 million for the Murray Basin Freight Rail Network, including $195.2 million for the most extensive package of works recommended by the revised business case undertaken by the Victorian Government,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.
“I’m pleased that work has now started on this important 141-kilometre track, which services two major Victorian grain terminals.
“These works will improve safety and reliability along the line, with four level-crossing renewals and maintenance on more than 3,000 joints.”
McCormack said the Australian government was rolling out major projects under their $110 billion infrastructure investment.
Minister Jacinta Allan said Victorian farmers were already seeing the benefits of the Murray Basin Rail Project.
“Freight trains have returned to the Mildura and Murrayville to Ouyen lines, the Maryborough to Ararat line reopened after 15 years and we’ve seen significant upgrades to the Hopetoun, Manangatang and Yelta lines,” Allan said.
“We know how important the Murray Basin Rail Project is to Victorian primary producers – and we’re excited to get on and deliver work ahead of the next grain season.”
The Victorian government reviewed the original Murray Basin Rail Project business case, prepared in 2015, backed by industry engagement from farmers and freight operators.
Ports and freight minister Melissa Horne said the project would move more freight onto rail as the state’s primary production output grew.
“We are committed to shifting more freight onto rail to support our exporters and ensure Victoria’s freight and logistics system meets the needs of a growing population and economy,” Horne said.
Federal Member for Wannon Dan Tehan said the works would deliver more freight paths and major