Rail could be better off with AusLink

<p>Rail infrastructure could receive a greater share of the land transport investment pie under the Federal Government’s AusLink plan released last week.</p> <p>The policy will amalgamate all land transport funding and planning to ensure the most vital projects receive support.</p> <p>Transport minister John Anderson said: "In particular, we are seeking innovative ways of improving road&#47rail integration, so rail can increase its market share on a firm commercial foundation."</p> <p>Australasian Railway Association (ARA) executive director John Kirk congratulated Mr Anderson for introducing a long overdue national transport planning model.</p> <p>It was pleasing to hear Mr Anderson speak about the importance of rail, he said</p> <p>The ARA particularly welcomes the government’s commitment to assess road and rail projects using the same criteria. </p> <p>Mr Kirk is confident that if projects are evaluated equally then the need for more rail investment will be recognised.</p> <p>However, observers point out that AusLink embodies recommendations of the November 1994 report of the National Transport Planning Taskforce and will still take several years to take effect.</p> <br />