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The Victorian Government has called on the Federal Government to fund urgently-needed rail projects in Victoria as part of its Auslink package.
The Dynon Port Rail Link
The Port of Melbourne handled $67.8 billion worth of cargo in 2001/02 and contributed more than $6 billion to Victoria's Gross State Product. It's Australia's largest container port, handling more than 1.5 million TEU or nearly 40% of Australia's total container throughput. Currently, the only rail access into the Port of Melbourne is a single dual gauge track which crosses Footscray Road under the City Link structure. Separating rail movement from road traffic on Footscray Road, and enhancing the rail connection to the port, will provide a direct and uninterrupted link between the Port and the Dynon precincts. This will allow freight operations to be undertaken off public roads and increase the capacity of Dynon terminals to handle interstate and intrastate domestic freight.
The Mildura Line
The Mildura rail corridor is of national importance, and is used to export products from the Sunraysia and far south west areas of NSW. The north west region of Victoria is a major producer of horticulture products and mineral sands. Six per cent of Australia's agricultural exports are produced in the region and the mineral sands industry has the potential to increase significantly in the next decade.
The State Government has called on the Federal Government to upgrade the corridor and ensure more efficient carriage of containers and bulk commodities such as grain, thereby securing the international competitiveness and ongoing viability of these industries and the Mallee and Sunraysia regions. A contribution towards the standardisation of the north western rail lines is also being sought to link them into the national network.
The North East Corridor – the Wodonga Line
In the Melbourne to Sydney corridor, improvements to the busy Melbourne to Albury/Wodonga section require a range of works, including the provision of new and extended passing loops. Significant growth in freight, to be carried on this line, is expected from southern New South Wales. The recent announcement of proposed $54 m investment in this section of the corridor by ARTC only goes part of the way to meeting the requirements of this corridor.
Mount Gambier to Heywood line
The restoration of the Mount Gambier to Heywood line will provide a rail link between the green triangle and Portland. It will provide a link to the national standard-gauge network and reduce truck traffic demands on the Princes Highway and other parallel routes. Transporting freight via rail rather than road will result in reduced road maintenance costs, fewer road fatalities, and reduced fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions
The Gippsland Corridor
The Gippsland corridor is a corridor of national significance and should be recognised as such by the Commonwealth under the AusLink program. The corridor services the primary production, industry and energy resource regions of the Latrobe Valley, Gippsland and Southern NSW. Significant increases in production in export dairy and forestry products are forecast for this corridor.
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