PRESS RELEASE FROM HUME LIBERAL CANDIDATE ANGUS TAYLOR
Angus Taylor, the Liberal Candidate presented a session on the future of freight rail in Australia at the fast train and freight rail forum in Goulburn yesterday.
Mr Taylor presented at the forum in his professional capacity, rather than as the candidate for Hume. However he said solving the freight rail problems in the way he envisages will be “very good for Hume and very good for regional Australia.”
Mr Taylor has worked on many freight projects in the course of his career as a business consultant with a focus on agriculture, resources and logistics. He is recognised as an authority in this area, and has advised leading agricultural companies, miners and logistics companies on rail and infrastructure issues.
“For many years I have been making the case that freight rail has an important role to play in making roads safer, and less congested, whilst reducing the cost of Australia’s fast growing freight task,” Mr Taylor said.
“As fuel and labour costs have risen, the trucking industry has faced challenges that need to be addressed – long haul rail can take some of the pressure away.”
Mr Taylor told the 70 or so forum participants that freight rail can only succeed on the East Coast of Australia as part of a four part strategy which involve upgrading existing lines; the establishment of well located, world class intermodal freight hubs through the eastern seaboard states, including near Goulburn; the commencement of work on an inland rail route from Melbourne to Brisbane; and the alignment of road and rail charges and investment criteria.
“If we do these things, we can expect the private sector to provide much of the required investment, delivering faster, cheaper, long haul freight solutions and much safer, less congested roads,” Mr Taylor said.
“And you needn’t worry that we will be putting truckies out of work – their jobs are secure for shorter haul and express work.
“Improving freight rail will be an important part of any medium to long term nation and region building task.
“The same goes for very fast trains. The economic case for fast trains will only be compelling as part of a broader regional development program. This is how it has been done in Europe and Japan, and it is the only way we will get there in Australia.
“The coalition is closely examining regional development plans and there will be more announcements about regional development under a coalition government prior to the federal election.”