Home' Future Building: The Australian Infrastructure Review : Volume 3 Number 2 Contents 48 futurebuilding Volume 3 Number 2
The Hon Anthony Albanese MP
linking proposed ports with transport corridors
needed for exports, including for our mineral
The Strategy also seeks to establish mechanisms
to develop a long-term pipeline of infrastructure
projects attractive to both government and private
investors, and to ensure that the right investments
occur at the right time.
The government's national urban policy
indicated an expectation that by 2014, states would
develop their own 20-year freight strategies that
align with national directions, as part of the Nation
Building 2 Program.
It also indicated that the National Land Freight
Strategy would inform future Australian Government
investments and reform policies.
Australia faces an enormous freight task in coming
decades. Movements are expected to nearly double
to 1000 billion tonne kilometres by 2030.
The road and rail projects required to meet that
demand have a long lead time.
We need to invest -- and invest right now -- if we
are going to meet this expected growth.
And we are doing so.
Since coming to of ce, we have embarked on
the largest, most extensive modernisation of the
nation's Interstate Rail Network in almost a century.
We've upgraded one-third of the interstate rail freight
network, upgrading 3800 kilometres of existing track
and replacing the old timber sleepers with 3.4 million
new Australian-made concrete sleepers.
Thanks to this investment, we can expect a seven-
hour saving on the trip along the busy rail route
between Brisbane and Melbourne.
In response, Woolworths -- one of the biggest
freight carriers in the nation -- has begun transferring
from road to rail 34,000 tonnes of dry goods.
This is a case of public sector investment leading
to private sector activity, working in harmony to
deliver economic bene ts for the nation.
Woolworths is able to make that commercial
decision because the line is now faster and more
reliable thanks to nine separate new passing loops,
better crossings and signalling systems, and the
removal of tight curves.
This was not an easy decision for Woolworths.
There are new transfer arrangements and new deals
with rail carriers. Woolworths' decision is removing
1000 B-double trucks from our highways, leaving the
air cleaner and our roads safer.
Once the planned investments in rail are
nalised by 2016--17, it is expected that the north-
south interstate rail market will grow by more than
30 per cent.
There are plenty of other examples I can give you.
For example, the rail trip across the nation to Perth
used to take 53 hours; now it takes 44, thanks to track
improvements, such as the extra passing loops. That
means it is now feasible for express trains to use the
line, attracting business from large parcel carriers
such as Star Track Express and Australia Post, who are
transferring Perth-bound deliveries from road to rail.
continued on page 50
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