The Green Triangle Freight Action Plan Committee has welcomed the recent announcement of $2.2m in the Federal Budget for the Maroona Portland Rail line.
The funding will go towards a business case that will evaluate the upgrade of the rail line, which is located in south-west Victoria.
Committee chair Karen Stephens said key stakeholders and industry bodies had been strongly advocating to upgrade the line from 19 tonne axle loads (TAL) to 23 TAL to give the rail line a competitive edge over other lines and provide for much needed upgrades to the line.
“The Maroona Portland Rail line has been a key directive within the GTFAP committee’s overall strategic and advocacy plan, so this announcement is a fantastic outcome,” she said.
“The rail line is of strategic importance for the region and for exports through the Port of Portland. It also reduces the amount of trucks on the road, reducing road damage and improving overall safety for both road users and industry.
“Furthermore, an upgrade would provide promise for economic gains and allow the rail line to be open to new products, such as mineral sands and grain,” Ms Stephens said.
“The business case is the first step in the upgrade process and compliments the work done by the Port of Portland, which provided a preliminary economic case for the upgrade. The business case will capture the critical evidence which will support further funding for the line.
“Overall, this commitment is a game changer for the Green Triangle region. The GTFAP is proud to partner with Government, Councils and industry across the region to provide the best outcomes for the community and this funding announcement is just one example of this.”