Rail industry takes National Rail Plan to Parliament

[L–R] Senator the Hon. Arthur Sinodinos AO, Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science; the Hon Darren Chester MP, Minister for Infrastructure and Transport; Bob Herbert AM, Chairman, Australian Railway Association and Danny Broad, Chief Executive Officer, Australasian Railway Association.

[L–R] Senator the Hon. Arthur Sinodinos AO, Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science; the Hon Darren Chester MP, Minister for Infrastructure and Transport; Bob Herbert AM, Chairman, Australian Railway Association and Danny Broad, Chief Executive Officer, Australasian Railway Association.

Representatives from the rail industry met with Commonwealth Ministers on 12 September to discuss the need for a National Rail Industry Plan for the benefit of Australia.

“Today is a significant day for the rail industry as we build momentum for a National Rail Industry Plan and meeting with Commonwealth Ministers is our first step,” said Danny Broad, CEO, Australasian Railway Association (ARA).

“The rail industry makes a significant contribution to the Australian economy. Investment in rail by Australian Governments will be in the order of $100 billion through to 2030. We are meeting with Commonwealth Ministers today to say – we need a plan to coordinate this effort and we need your support.

“Through better coordination and long-term certainty, we can ensure the industry is well positioned to take advantage of all the lessons from the past and position ourselves for the future.

“The Commonwealth Government will be investing $89 billion in naval shipbuilding through to 2055. This investment will be supported by a Naval Shipbuilding Plan. Rail’s contribution to Australia is no less than shipbuilding.”

He noted that a combined effort by commonwealth, state and territory government, and industry support, would be required.

The National Rail Industry Plan will need to include five key areas of focus, he shared, including recognising the importance of rail for Australia’s infrastructure development, urban planning and freight movements; harmonising standards, minimising regulations and maximising economies of scale; growing the capabilities of individuals and companies; maximising opportunities for rail companies; and fostering innovation, research and development.