THE federal government is funnelling billions into new freight infrastructure, including $2 billion for a new intermodal terminal in Melbourne.

In a pre-budget announcement, deputy prime minister and infrastructure minister Michael McCormack said the new funding was a key plank of the government’s plan to help Australia bounce back stronger than ever from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“A new intermodal terminal in Melbourne will help to boost the productivity of the nation by helping businesses get their products to domestic and international markets faster following the completion of Inland Rail,” Mr McCormack said.

“Our $2 billion investment in a new Melbourne Intermodal Terminal will transform the way freight moves, not just in Victoria but right across the country.

“The new Intermodal Terminal in Melbourne will create around 1,350 jobs during peak construction and a further 550 jobs during peak operation – that’s delivery in action.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the Government would make an initial investment of $2 billion to build a new intermodal terminal to meet the country’s future freight needs and to link up to the inland rail taking up to 5500 trucks off Melbourne’s roads every day.

“Our record infrastructure investment not only creates jobs now, it also sets Australia up for the future,” the Treasurer said.