The Australian Government has committed $38 million and expressions of interest will soon be sought to deliver a series of rail freight ‘shuttle’ initiatives in Victoria.
The proposed project is focused on the existing rail network, connecting the port to major freight hubs and businesses.
Transport for Victoria states on its website that the port-rail shuttle will remove the need for a truck to visit the port; instead, the truck delivers to or picks up from one of the three terminals, easing congestion on the transport network and improving amenity for communities in sensitive inner urban areas.
Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester said the proposal would take advantage of rail’s ability to shift larger volumes of freight than trucks, while also busting congestion in Victoria’s capital.
“The Australian Government’s free trade agreements are seeing a boom in exports, which has led to trucks taking more produce and freight to the ports. This project will provide the ability to shift larger volumes of freight via rail compared to trucks, and reduce congestion on our roads,” Mr Chester said.
“The freight and logistics industry had identified rail’s potential to reduce transport costs by about 10 per cent, with the proposal potentially improving Australia’s competitiveness, which is why the Australian Government is investing $8.4 billion in the Inland Rail project connecting Brisbane and Melbourne,” he said.
Victorian Minister for Roads, Road Safety and Ports Luke Donnellan said the initiative will take trucks off local roads in Melbourne’s inner west.
“The Port of Melbourne will remain our primary freight hub for a generation. With container numbers expected to double over the next two decades we need to act now to share the load between road and rail,” he said.
“Alongside the West Gate Tunnel, 24-hour truck bans in the inner west and the Port’s rail access plans, this project will help shift containers from residential streets onto dedicated routes to the port.”
As well as the Australian Government's commitment of $38 million, the Victorian Government has committed $20 million to the initiative. Funding will be available to upgrade rail connections and improve terminal access.
Tenders relating to the project will be available to view at Australian Tenders. Subscribers can set up an alert to be notified as they are published. For details on how to set up alerts contact email@example.com