The Australasian Railway Association (ARA) has launched the Value of Rail Report, which highlights the contribution of rail to the country, at the AusRAIL PLUS 2017 conference this week.
ARA CEO Danny Broad announced the report – prepared by Deloitte Access Economics – at the event.
“We know that Australia’s population increases at a rate of 370,000 people every year. By 2060, both Sydney and Melbourne will have grown by approximately 3 million people each,” said Mr. Broad.
“As Australia’s population increases, so too does congestion and the demand for improved transport solutions.
“To manage these challenges, Australia will have to develop its multi modal transport solutions with light and heavy rail as its spine to provide the solutions that Australia needs in shaping our cities and our regions into the future.
“The story with growth in freight traffic is even greater – a potential 88% increase in kilometres travelled by 2050, and an increase of some 2.5 million trucks and light commercial vehicles on our roads.
“This growth in freight underscores the need for an efficient supply chain and for a heavy vehicle pricing framework that accurately captures the cost of road infrastructure provision and the negative externalities of road usage, such as congestion, vehicle emission and accidents – a point which is reinforced in the report.
“It is precisely for these reasons that the ARA has been engaging with [Australian], state and territory governments on the benefits of our National Rail Industry Plan.
“The cost-benefit analysis is clear, rail makes a significant contribution to the Australian economy. We inject around $26 billion into the national economy, contributing 1.6% of GDP and a key enabler of exports.
“We create over 140,000 jobs in our cities and our regions, provide safe, efficient, environmentally and socially beneficial modes of transport.
“We ask governments to get on board and implement our National Rail Industry Plan to provide the rail industry and the broader Australian community with long-term certainty of improved transport solutions for the benefit of all.
More information on the Value of Rail Report can be found at: www.ara.net.au/value-of-rail.