Brumby Government package props up regional rail industry

By: Jason Whittaker


The Victorian Government has announced a $20 million dollar rebate package for the State’s rail industry in order to ensure

The Victorian Government has announced a $20 million dollar rebate package for the State’s rail industry in order to ensure container and export grain freight continue to run on rail as an alternative to road transport.

Premier John Brumby says the rebate will apply to container freight carried on rail services from Warrnambool, Horsham, Mildura, Shepparton and Tocumwal.

The package will also extend a new rail access fee rebate for domestic grain to include export grain to further support the industry, according to Brumby.

The two-year Rail Freight Support Package comes after the announcement of Pacific National in December that it was reviewing its regional Victorian rail freight operations and in response to the economic pressure ongoing drought conditions were putting on intermodal terminal operators and grain handlers.

Brumby says the rebate is a short-term solution aimed at supporting rail freight while the industry restructures its operations and major government rail projects are implemented.
"Victoria’s rail freight network has faced challenges – the drought has led to declined freight volumes, severely affecting intermodal terminal operators and grain handlers," Brumby says.
"This package is about supporting continued rail freight services.

According to Minister for Public Transport Lynne Kosky, the rebate will provide operators with an incentive to retain container freight and export grain on rail.
"The rebate will based on a benchmark rate of $100 per 20 foot equivalent container adjusted for volume and distance," she says.

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