Release of National Land Freight Strategy welcomed

Illawarra Federal Labor MPs Sharon Bird and Stephen Jones have today welcomed the release by Infrastructure Australia of a discussion paper on a National Land Freight Strategy, which recognises the key role of Port Kembla as a nationally significant networked port.

“I am delighted that the role of Port Kembla has been recognised for the first time as a solution to Australia’s freight handling task.

“The paper by Infrastructure Australia proposes that Port Kembla should also become formally part of the national land freight network. This is a good report for the Illawarra and for Port Kembla”, Ms Bird said.

Federal Member for Throsby, Stephen Jones, said he was particularly pleased that the report proposes to separate freight trains from passenger trains.

“As the freight handling task in Australia increases, we do need to ensure that we can untangle the uses of rail and have dedicated freight routes and passenger routes.

“This report recognises what we are trying accomplish by arguing for the completion of the Maldon-Dombarton rail link.

Ms Bird arranged for Infrastructure Australia’s Infrastructure Coordinator, Mr Michael Deegan to visit Wollongong in July 2009 to tour Port Kembla, meet with the Port Kembla Port Corporation and other regional stakeholders.