ARA welcomes budget investment in rail

ARA welcomes funding for rail projects and investment in national regulator and Infrastructure Australia

May 13, 2011

The Australasian Railway Association (ARA) has welcomed the Federal Government for bringing forward funding for the Morton Bay Rail Link, which has been on the cards since 1985.

"It is critical to relieve the congestion issues in South East Queensland. Bringing the project forward shows the Labor Government’s commitment to delivering on its election promise," ARA CEO Bryan Nye says.

In its budget which was delivered this week the Federal Government has also set aside funding for a National Rail Safety Regulator, which will begin in 2013.

The microeconomic reform is designed to reduce the regulatory burden on the rail sector, with Nye saying there are currently seven different safety regulators with seven different rules.

"The allocation of funding to continue implementing one National Rail Safety Regulator in Adelaide and establishing the Australian Transport Safety Bureau as the national investigator for rail accidents will provide increased safety outcomes and greater industry efficiencies for rail," he says.

The Government’s decision to increase funding for Infrastructure Australia and expand its role will allow the advisory body to conduct a thorough top-down analysis of Australia’s infrastructure needs, Nye says.

"The rail industry has been calling for one Australia, one set of rules. Australia’s transport system must be nationally integrated and IA’s 40 percent funding increase over four years to $36 million should allow it to do just this and ensure greater efficiencies for transport in Australia," he says.

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