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Truss welcomes contract for north-south rail corridor.



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Warren Truss Minister for Transport and Regional Services Deputy Leader of The Nationals

M E D I A R E L E A S E

Kylie Butler - Media Adviser 02 6277 7680 0417 652 488 kylie.butler@dotars.gov.au www.ministers.dotars.gov.au

DOTARS05/048WT 3 November 2005

Truss welcomes contract for north-south rail corridor

The Australian Government Minister for Transport and Regional Services, Warren Truss, today announced that the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) has today awarded a contract worth more than $200 million to Transport Express Alliance to work on the North Coast line between Sydney and Brisbane.

Mr Truss said the contract will enable the renewal, rehabilitation and enhancement of rail and civil infrastructure along the North Coast.

“The Australian Government is the major shareholder of ARTC and this latest contract is a watershed in our objective to get more freight on to rail and improve the productivity of the interstate rail network,” he said.

The multi-million dollar contract builds on the ARTC awarding a $134 million contract for the upgrading of the signalling system between Sydney and Brisbane, and a $560 million contract signed last week which will provide a major track upgrade and construction of additional passing loops between Sydney and Melbourne.

Mr Truss said that, in total, the ARTC will invest $1.4 billion in the interstate track between Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane on the Australian Government’s behalf.

“These projects are consistent with the Australian Government’s AusLink National Land Transport Plan.

“AusLink supports the most appropriate commodities being shipped by the most convenient mode, but rail has been held back in the past due to under-investment and uncompetitive transit times between capital cities.

“All that is about to change and the Australian Government is pleased to have played its part.”

Mr Truss said the ARTC and the Australian Government’s substantial investment in rail followed the successful take up by the ARTC of the lease of the New South Wales mainline track in September last year.

“Works targeted on the north-south upgrade were identified through an extensive planning process involving industry.

“On the longer Melbourne - Brisbane route the ARTC expects time savings of more than nine hours, significantly increasing rail’s competitiveness with road.

Under AusLink, the Australian Government is putting $12.7 billion into upgrading and maintaining the principal interstate freight corridors.

ENDS

Tim Langmead - Media Adviser 02 6277 7680 0418 221 433 tim.langmead@dotars.gov.au www.ministers.dotars.gov.au

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