INDUSTRY groups says a focus on freight and rail is a positive element of the latest Infrastructure Australia priority list.

The list was released this week and serves as an infrastructure investment guide for the Commonwealth and state governments.

Australian Logistics Council CEO Kirk Coningham said experience had shown that inclusion on the Infrastructure Priority List could be a catalyst for securing investment in critical projects vital to Australia’s economic interests.

“The National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy, first included on the list in 2016, is an obvious example,” he said.

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“ALC is pleased the Strategy remains as a High Priority Initiative on this year’s list, with a renewed focus underscoring the importance of its implementation phase.”

Mr Coningham said it was pleasing to see a high degree of alignment between projects and initiatives contained on the Infrastructure Priority List and priorities reflected in the National Action Plan associated with the Strategy. Among these are:

  • Completing the Port Botany freight rail line duplication;
  • Building the North East Link in Melbourne;
  • Preserving a dedicated freight rail connection corridor from Inland Rail to the Port of Brisbane;
  • Completing the Adelaide North-South corridor upgrade;
  • Investing in road and rail improvements for the Burnie to Hobart freight corridor;
  • Upgrading road connections and road capacity for Moorebank Intermodal Terminal and Western Sydney Airport;
  • Implementation of the Advanced Train Management System on the ARTC network.
ALC CEO Kirk Coningham. Credit: ALC

Victorian Transport Association CEO Peter Anderson said it was encouraging that Infrastructure Australia had heeded calls to encourage all levels of government to make road improvements a high priority.

“A safe, reliable and efficient road transport network is absolutely essential for our economy to continue to grow and prosper,” he said.

Mr Anderson also highlighted rail investment. “Greater investments in rail projects are welcome news for the transport industry in Victoria because every sector of the supply chain – including road transport operators – benefits from more widespread use of intermodal transport.”

Meanwhile the Civil Contractors Federation – South Australia CEO, Phil Sutherland, criticised the lack of priority projects in SA, deeming it as “completely unacceptable and totally lamentable”.

CCF CEO Phil Sutherland said it was “a matter of very serious concern that there is not a single new road or rail project earmarked for SA on Infrastructure Australia’s updated high priority list”.

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