Wednesday, 5 October 2016
Minister for Roads and Freight Duncan Gay and Member for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall today inspected a 2.8-kilometre section of the Moree to Inverell railway line that will be reinstated as early as December this year as part of the NSW Government’s $15 million Fixing Country Rail pilot program.
$2 million is being invested to restore the line at Moree and is in addition to the NSW Government’s $400 million Fixing Country Rail program.
Mr Gay said the reinstatement of this railway line would see 250,000 tonnes of grain and 6,400 twenty foot containers of cotton and pulses per year taken off council and state roads in the region and on to rail.
“The NSW Government is determined to shift more bulk freight on to railway lines, like the one here at Moree to ensure we get produce from paddocks to ports as quickly and efficiently as possible,” Mr Gay said.
“The freight transport network is the backbone of the state‘s North West and we need to improve its efficiency to take more freight off our local and regional roads – a massive win for regional communities, economies and the state’s producers.”
Mr Marshall said once this track is open for business local industries could see freight cost savings of $25-tonne from Moree to Port of Newcastle.
“The Moree Plains Shire produces 22 per cent of the grain grown in NSW, so this investment is vital for ensuring the future of freight rail in the Northern Tablelands,” Mr Marshall said.
“This investment into the railway line coupled with big cost savings that will flow is great news for our local producers and the region as a whole.
“This is just the beginning though – with another $400 million available under Fixing Country Rail, I’m looking forward to even more local projects to improve rail freight efficiency in our region and for our state.”
Broadbent Grain submitted the funding application for the Moree project and will also invest $3.7 million towards building hardstands and equipment to load grain trains.
Since March 2011, the NSW Government has invested more than $1 billion in the operation, maintenance and upgrading of the Country Regional Network which comprises of 2,386 kilometres of operational railway lines.