Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke joined Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight Melinda Pavey today to announce almost $30 million of rail upgrades on the Temora to Calleen section.

The $28.6 million Fixing Country Rail grant will help boost economic productivity through greater efficiency.

Ms Cooke said the upgrades will allow increases in weight and speed for freight trains.

“The maximum axle load will be higher, allowing the gross wagon tonnage to increase from 84 tonnes to 100 tonnes per wagon,” Ms Cooke said.

“Our freight trains carry our food, produce and raw materials that support the local community, so the upgrade to the Temora to Ungarie line will ensure freight vehicles get to where they need to be efficiently,” Ms Cooke added.

“This region has some of the best farmers in the world when it comes to efficiency and productivity, so it’s fantastic to be able to support their work with the rail infrastructure to make sure we get our produce to market much more quickly.

“More than 255 million tonnes of freight originates or is destined for regional NSW, so this rail upgrade is a fantastic result,” Ms Cooke added.

Mrs Pavey highlighted the value of freight to the economy.

“Freight is worth more than $60 billion to the NSW economy. It’s critical that the NSW Government delivers the best freight network possible,” Mrs Pavey said.

“This is a big win for regional communities, by reducing the cost of getting goods to market, consumers will reap the benefit at the till of their local supermarket,” she added.

The $1 billion Fixing Country Roads and Rail programs focus on improving regional freight infrastructure and efficiency.