Grain rail key to regional futures

NSW Farmers has welcomed the Liberals and Nationals’ commitment to invest over $485 million in rural NSW country grain rail lines if re-elected.

NSW Farmers Grains Chair, Daniel Cooper called the commitment announced by the Minister for Roads and Freight Duncan Gay an important stepping stone to improving farm profitability and protecting roads in country NSW.

“The rail lines that service the NSW grains industry are critical to the viability of NSW’s 8000 grain farms. These farms contribute over $2.5 billion to the state’s economy,” said Mr Cooper.

“Keeping these lines open was the major recommendation from Infrastructure Australia’s NSW Grain Freight Review.

The delivery of funding against its 2012 commitment to these grain branch lines has provided assurance to rural NSW of the role rail has to play in the grains industry.”

Mr Cooper outlined that grain farmers in NSW looked forward to the proposed $400 million Fixing Country Rail program should the Liberals and Nationals be re-elected.

“Recent upgrading of branch lines running from Coonamble and Boree Creek has seen farmers benefit from higher train payloads and faster more efficient locomotives respectively,” he said.

“Improving NSW’s country rail network is also good for regional development with almost $9.5 million returned to rural communities for every dollar saved in the cost of grain freight. This is without considering the benefits associated with reducing the movement of grain by road.

18 March 2015 

Contact: Veneta Chapple

Phone: 0429 990 218

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