Freight Rail, Passenger Rail

ARA boss tells Turnbull Ministry: Get transport right

Australasian Railway Association chief executive Danny Broad. Photo:

Australasian Railway Association chief executive Danny Broad has welcomed the new Turnbull Ministry, but has reminded the nation’s leadership team to avoid past failures when it comes to transport and infrastructure.

Prime Minister Turnbull earlier this month announced his new Cabinet, which includes the re-appointment of Darren Chester as transport and infrastructure minister, and the appointment of former major projects minister Paul Fletcher to the new role of minister for urban infrastructure.

Broad welcomed the appointments, especially the addition of Fletcher’s new role, saying it reflected Australia’s position as one of the world’s most urbanised nations.

But the ARA boss also put the new ministry on notice.

“I take this opportunity to remind Minister Chester and Minister Fletcher, along with all their ministerial colleagues, that it is imperative that governments work
together to support the rail sector through collaboration and long-term vision,” he said.

“A lack of cohesion between State and Federal Governments has seen sporadic investment and a lumpy demand which stalls the growth sector.

“It is my hope that the Turnbull Government will seize this opportunity to strengthen the rail manufacturing sector; focus on greater harmonisation of standards, regulations and procurement practices across all rail sectors; and tackle the growing freight task, projected to double by 2030.

“There are many challenges ahead for Australia and I look forward to working closely with Minister Chester and Minister Fletcher to realise a rail industry vision with practical and achievable actions.”

Broad also welcomed Opposition leader Bill Shorten’s decision to re-appoint Anthony Albanese as shadow minister for transport, infrastructure, and cities, and to add regional development to his role as well.

“Anthony Albanese has long been a champion of the rail industry and a strong advocate for his portfolio responsibilities,” he said.

“During the recent election campaign Labor made a number of significant and vitally important rail funding commitments that were national as well as state-based in their focus.

“Although Labor has not formed government, it must continue to push the Turnbull Government to come to the party with these important rail infrastructure projects.”