Gay resists rail push from Greens

Greens want more freight on rail, but told decisions should be based on "the right mode for the right load"

By Brad Gardner | October 19, 2011

The Greens have used the Maldon to Dombarton rail link announcement to push for more freight on rail, but the NSW roads minister says decisions should be based on "the right mode for the right load".

The Federal Government yesterday allocated $25.5 million to complete design work on the rail line, prompting Greens MP Cate Faehrmann to ask if NSW will make sure more freight in the Illawarra region is put on rail to reduce truck movements.

Roads Minister Duncan Gay says he supports opportunities to put more freight on rail, but added that there are many instances where rail corridors do not exist.

"At the moment much of our freight must go by other transport modes. We have always believed we must have the right mode for the right load," he says.

"Where possible, we will keep freight on rail, but given the amount of freight that is going out through Port Kembla there is a large number of truck movements. Into the future, the key to our infrastructure plans is putting more freight on rail."

A feasibility study found that the Maldon to Dombarton link would support the expanding resources sector and provide direct access to Port Kembla.

Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese says the project, if it goes ahead, will involve connecting the main north-south line to Port Kembla. The section of track will involve a tunnel and passing loops and bridges.

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