The Rudd Government today commits a further $3 million to move to the next stage of assessing the feasibility of a rail line between Maldon and Port Kembla via Dombarton.
The further $3 million commitment announced today will fund detailed planning and engineering work needed to obtain firm costings and determine the viability of this project.
This work will commence later this year and take around 18 months to complete.
Along with this announcement, I am also pleased to release today the findings of the pre-feasibility study commissioned by the Rudd Government.
The study has found that completing the rail line between Maldon and Port Kembla via Dombarton has long-term economic merit – but acknowledges more work needs to be done before sensible decisions can be made on this important project.
The study has found the line could:
A full copy of the study can be downloaded from: www.nationbuildingprogram.gov.au/publications/reports/index.aspx.
The study also notes this project should be developed within the context of a comprehensive national port and freight strategy – which the Rudd Government has already commenced work on.
We have commissioned Infrastructure Australia to work with the National Transport Commission to develop a National Ports Strategy for consideration by the Council of Australian Governments.
The aim of the Strategy is to ensure the efficient movement of goods into and out of our ports. This will help boost our export performance and our economy productivity into the future.
In the past, there have been many examples where port expansions have not been properly coordinated with land-side developments such as rail. The result has been bottlenecks and congestion around the nation's busiest ports – outcomes which our National Ports Strategy aims to prevent in the future.
The assessments undertaken to date on the Maldon-Dombarton rail link – plus the further work announced today – will all be submitted to Infrastructure Australia to assist in the development of this Strategy.
8 July 2009