AusRAIL, Market Sectors

Low infrastructure investment curtails industry’s transport options: ARA

<p>The Australasian Railway Association (ARA) has called on the Commonwealth and state governments for a coordinated rail reform agenda to sustain economic growth and export earnings.</p> <p>The ARA, backed by the Port Jackson Partners study <em>The Future of Freight</em> , wants an agenda that will focus on future planning, competition policy, pricing and investment.</p> <p>This report that the ARA commissioned has concluded that rail is the most cost-effective mode of transport for inter-capital container movements and can be expected to increase its modal share on all corridors.</p> <p>It calls on the governments to stimulate these cost savings for the benefit of the economy by introducing a "level playing field" between road and rail transport and infrastructure funding.</p> <p>"Due to the lack of infrastructure investment in transport, the country is now facing constraints in the transport network," ARA chairman and Pacific National chief executive Stephen O’Donnell told the National Press Club today (Wednesday, February 16).</p> <p>"If these are not addressed as a matter of urgency, Australia’s future as a competitive exporter will be jeopardised and economic growth will slow."</p> <p>In 2003&#4704 investment in infrastructure was 3.6% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) compared to 8.2% in the early 1980s, the ARA said.</p> <p>Competitive transport options will not be available to Australian industry if such low levels of investment continue, the ARA believes.</p> <br />