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MEDIA RELEASE - Rail investment opens business opportunities

28 June 2017

Glenelg Shire Mayor Cr Anita Rank has welcomed the Federal Government’s $1.57 billion investment in regional rail which will open new corridors for economic development in the south-west.

Cr Rank said a commitment to provide more reliable and frequent services on the Warrnambool line would strengthen local business, tourism and education opportunities.

“These additional train services are excellent news for our region as it will provide more regular connections to our city counterparts, on new improved trains, meaning greater opportunities to do business and ensuring local students have greater access to tertiary pathways,” she said.

“Furthermore it will provide great opportunities for tourism, offering travellers with more direct and frequent connections to the Great Ocean Road.

“This investment is also a great win for our agricultural sector which will be able to move more heavy freight to metropolitan ports for export providing new business prospects.”

Cr Rank noted the efforts of colleague councillor Geoff White, a Rail Freight Alliance stalwart, who has proactively lobbied for the rail funding.

The proposed upgrades, valued at $114 million on the Warrnambool line, will include a crossing loop from Boorcan to Weerite which will further reduce delays.

The rail package extends to the north-west with upgrades to the Ararat and Ballarat Lines, which provides further opportunities to add extra services to the timetable into the future.

Cr Rank said this would “open the door” for the return of passenger services to Hamilton over the next decade.

“Additional rail services, linking to Ballarat and Melbourne, into the future will provide even greater capacity for our region to do business and build greater tourism links with the Grampians region,” she said.

“It is still early days but the feasibility study is generating attention as the government recognises the need for this important investment in the Southern Grampians region to unlock new job opportunities. Our council will continue to endorse this important proposal.”

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