Freight Rail

ARA applauds investment in rail mode shift incentives

The Mode Shift Incentive Scheme recognises an important role for rail.

THE Australasian Railway Association (ARA) has commended the Victorian Government’s extension of its the Mode Shift Incentive Scheme (MSIS), with a further $3.6 million to be invested to 30 June 2022.

ARA chief executive Caroline Wilkie said the ongoing commitment to rail mode shift incentives reflected the Victorian government’s commitment to see more freight on rail cut heavy vehicle emissions.

She welcomed ports and freight minister Melissa Horne’s support for the MSIS, which aims to remove the equivalent of 28,000 truck trips off Victorian roads a year.

“We are pleased to see Minister Horne acknowledge the benefits of greater freight on rail delivering not just logistics solutions for Victorian primary producers and exporters, but wider environmental, economic and safety benefits,” Wilkie said.

The ARA’s 2020 Value of Rail Report found:

  • Rail freight produces 16 times less carbon pollution than road freight;
  • Accident costs associated with road freight are 20 times higher than rail;
  • Rail freight generates 92 per cent less PM10 emissions than road; and
  • For every one per cent of the national freight task that moves to rail, society gains $72 million a year in benefits.

“The Victorian Mode Shift Incentive Scheme is just one such investment in mode shift across Australian jurisdictions, including the highly effective Container Rail Subsidy in Western Australia to increase freight on rail and reduce congestion to Fremantle Port,” Wilkie said.

“This is a good example of meaningful investment to achieve rail mode share targets and realise the environmental, economic and social benefits of more freight on rail.”