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Tuesday, 9 December 1986
Page: 3585


Senator MAGUIRE —Has the Minister representing the Minister for Transport seen the latest annual report of the Australian National Railways Commission, which has just been circulated to honourable senators? If so, has the Minister noted the statement that Australian National has been conducting investigations into possible new railway lines in South Australia, including a link between Bowmans and Ardrossan and a link between Whyalla and Kimba, the latter, if constructed, providing an historic link between two currently separated systems? Does the Minister have any further information on these two railway projects which, if undertaken, would boost the development of the South Australian economy?


Senator GIETZELT —The Senate will be aware that the annual report of the Australian National Railways Commission was recently presented to the Parliament. The report contains details of a number of important investigations. In regard to South Australia-I am sure that that would be the area of interest to Senator Maguire-it indicated that a number of investigations are being made into new developments in the rail system. It also indicated that some improvement was being made to the management of the system generally. Some of the options being considered by Australian National include increasing the competitiveness of the rail link between Adelaide and Melbourne, a proposed new railway link to Roxby Downs, an improvement in the Whyalla-Kimba and Bowmans-Ardrossan links and a remodelling of the major yard which services the Tailem Bend-Port Augusta link. These are part of the future options to increase the competitiveness of our public railway system that are being considered by the energetic Minister for Transport and energetic Government. Of course, the extent to which these options receive consideration by the Government will depend largely upon their being feasible and the funds being available to realise those objectives. They certainly are matters that are receiving active consideration by the Government.