FEDERAL infrastructure and transport minister, Darren Chester, has been confirmed as a keynote speaker for the 2017 Rail Futures Conference.
Organising body, the Rail Freight Alliance, recently announced speakers including Mr Chester, opposition infrastructure spokesman Anthony Albanese and representatives of the Australian Rail Track Corporation and state government representatives from Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria.
Also addressing the gathering will be Port of Melbourne chief executive, Brendan Bourke.
The Conference, which is to be held on Friday September 15 at Melbourne’s Grand Hyatt, aims to address the big issues facing rail freight.
Rail Freight Alliance executive officer, Reid Mather, said Australia was moving into critical period for rail freight.
“In the past few years, we’ve managed to get some big runs on the board but there’s still some challenges ahead,” Mr Mather said.
“The Rail Futures Conference brings together all the critical stakeholders from across government, business, industry in one room to address the key question: what does the future of rail freight look like?”
He said it was an important topic as it touched on many different sectors.
“Rail freight, and particularly an increased mode share of freight on rail, means better productivity, safer communities and amenity, reduced emissions and ultimately greater prosperity across the nation.
“We want to see all stakeholders involved in this conversation. We need to hear from councils, governments, farmers and economic development bodies like our RDAs.” Registration details and more information can be found at www.railfreightalliance.com