The Australasian Railway Association (ARA) has welcomed the announcement of a $28 million project to build a direct rail freight line between the Port of Melbourne and Dandenong South.
ARA Chief Executive Officer Caroline Wilkie said the project would make it easier and more cost effective for businesses to use rail freight in the region.
“This is a huge boost for the region, bringing new jobs and taking trucks off the road around the busy Port of Melbourne precinct,” she said.
“The Dandenong region is such an important manufacturing hub for Victoria and this will be a welcome boost for local businesses that rely on connectivity to the port to support their operations.
“This project will allow more businesses to use quick, easy and sustainable rail services to access the port, and drive further investment in freight facilities in the region.”
The project will be funded by the Federal and Victorian governments and is the next step in the Port Rail Shuttle Network to remove congestion around the Port of Melbourne and cut freight transport costs by as much as 10 per cent.
Ms Wilkie said the savings the project would deliver would boost the competitiveness of Victorian businesses.
“This project will deliver real savings to Australian businesses, allowing them to invest more in growing their operations and creating new opportunities for the future,” she said.
The direct rail connection would also take more trucks off the road in a win for local residents.
“This project helps give local roads back to Melbourne residents while providing a safe and sustainable freight connection to the port that will endure for generations,” she said.
“The new direct line to the port further strengthens the region’s position as a key freight and logistics hub.”