State competition needed for rail-freight transition: RTBU

By: Troy Bilsborough


State governments should be "outbidding" each other to become involved in the new wave of rail investment required to drive

State governments should be "outbidding" each other to become involved in the new wave of rail investment required to drive Australia’s transition to a clean economy, according to the Rail Tram and Bus Union.

The RTBU is calling for major investment in the national rail network following the release of a report showing rail produces the least carbon emissions of all freight transport.

RTBU national secretary Greg Harvey says the report from Total Environment Centre found that freight of goods would become an increasing contributor to global warming with growth in pollution from freight vehicles exceeding that produced by personal travel.

"The State and Federal governments need to treat both freight rail and urban public transport as high priority issues in their fight against climate change," says Harvey.

"Rail needs to be considered a clean-energy transport and should be the primary form of transport used for mainland freight."

"Trains are also the best option for personal travel so the government must act now by improving public transport and supporting public transport workers to make rail travel
cheap, reliable and convenient.

"It would be a great thing for our nation to start hearing governments trying to outbid each other in their commitment to developing rail infrastructure.

"As we move to a carbon-constrained economy, a commitment to railways will not just make environmental sense – it will make economic sense too."

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