The Australasian Railway Association (ARA) has welcomed more than $300 million in additional funding for the Regional Rail Revival program to help create more infrastructure jobs in Victoria.
ARA Chief Executive Officer Caroline Wilkie said the Commonwealth and Victorian government funding would boost work already underway to upgrade regional passenger lines in Victoria.
“Stronger rail connections to and from Melbourne will be good for regional economies and their communities,” Ms Wilkie said.
“This funding will help support infrastructure jobs in regional Victoria at a time when every job counts. It is good to see funding going to a project that is creating jobs and will improve connectivity between Melbourne and the rest of the state for the long term.”
Regional Rail Revival is delivered by the Commonwealth and Victorian governments and has already completed some upgrades to rail lines and stations in the regions.
The additional $307.3 million funding was announced today as part of new funding confirmed for shovel-ready infrastructure projects in Victoria to support the state’s economic recovery.
Ms Wilkie said it was pleasing to see the value of rail recognised as a crucial part of rebuilding the nation’s economic health.
“It is good to see funding for projects that will provide an immediate boost to our economy while also supporting long term value for the community,” she said.
An ARA member survey of rail suppliers, contractors and freight operators found maintaining current projects and funding stimulus projects were the two most important actions governments could take to support the industry as it responds to COVID-19.
Ms Wilkie said it was important that governments maintained a strong pipeline of rail projects to ensure infrastructure jobs could be maintained beyond the life of initial stimulus projects.