THE NEW South Wales Government is investing more than $27M to upgrade road and rail freight corridors in the Western Riverina.
A total of $19M will go towards constructing two rail sidings at Wumbulgal, near Griffith, with the remaining funds going towards upgrading critical road freight routes in the Riverina.
Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Sam Farraway said the addition of two rail sidings will help lower freight costs for local farmers and primary producers.
“It takes an average 10 hours to load a freight train,” Mr Farraway said.
“By upgrading our rail network through projects like the Wumbulgal rail sliding, we allow more freight to be transported per trip, reducing delays and allowing goods and produce to get from farms and factories to our ports and supermarket shelves quicker.
“A lot of work has been put into the development of this project and it is great news we are investing in infrastructure that will directly help freight operators and primary producers such as grain farmers.
“Rail sidings, like the one that will be installed at Wumbulgal, allow freight trains to load and unload goods while simultaneously enabling other passenger and freight trains on the same line to pass.”
Australian Grainlink managing director Dean Salvestro said the project will improve processes at Grainlink’s Wumbulgal site.
“Currently, it can take up to eight hours during mainline loading of bulk and container trains several days per week,” Mr Salvestro said.
“The new siding will improve capacity and allow loading activities to proceed without impacting other services on the Junee-to-Griffith Line.”
LINX Cargo Care general manager Wayne Alpen also welcomed news of project funding.
“This project is a very positive step for regional freight operators; we’re pleased to see it progress through to delivery and provide tangible benefits for the movement of freight throughout south-western NSW,” Mr Alpen said.
Road upgrades in pipeline
The $8.8M road-freight investment will go towards upgrading routes, such as Petty Pine Road and Pimpara Creek Bridge.
“Our truckies rely heavily on their roads which have taken a battering during the recent floods,” Mr Farraway said.
“We’re investing the funding now so councils can start the job of repairing roads and building them to be more resilient.
“Better roads allows us to move freight faster and more efficiently, reducing the cost of getting goods to market, keeping prices low and keeping NSW moving forward.
Hay Shire Council mayor Carol Oataway has welcomed the $288,000 in funding for the Pimpara Creek Bridge widening as part of the Fixing Country Roads Program.
“Once completed, this project will provide access for two-way traffic, improving community safety and allow for higher productivity vehicles to carry increased produce, improving freight efficiency,” Ms Oataway said.
Source: NSW Government