The Australasian Railway Association (ARA) has welcomed the NSW Government’s announcement that key rail projects across the state have been identified for fast track as part of its Planning System Acceleration Program.
ARA Chief Executive Officer Caroline Wilkie said that, if approved, the new projects would provide crucial stimulus for the state while creating infrastructure that will bust congestion and support the NSW’s long term growth.
“It is good to see the NSW Government recognise the significant community benefits rail delivers by accelerating these projects,” Ms Wilkie said.
“Infrastructure investment will be the cornerstone of our economic recovery and sustainable, long term rail projects will form an important part of that.”
The new tranche of projects to go through the fast track process include the $700 million Narrabri North Star Phase 1 project, which is part of the Inland Rail project.
The $273 million Botany Rail Duplication will also be considered, as will the $115 million Cabramatta Rail Loop.
Ms Wilkie said she looked forward to seeing these projects get underway sooner.
“The Inland Rail will transform our national freight network and create new opportunities for the regions,” she said.
“In Sydney, the Botany Rail Duplication will increase the use of rail freight and ease congestion on key commuter road networks surrounding the port precinct.
“This is a great example of improved project approvals processes making a real difference for businesses, jobs and the people that depend on them.”
The projects will now undergo fast tracked assessment through the Planning System Acceleration Program, with decisions to be made by 14 August.