THE Alliance of Councils for Rail Freight Development wants the State Government to commit to rail to improve prosperity among grain growers.
Buloke Shire Mayor and alliance member Reid Mather said the government commissioned a report on grain freight and logistics after the past few harvests had been reasonable.
“The report looked at ways to efficiently move grain to ports,” he said.
“The government is now calling for submissions and the alliance has responded.”
The group has called for upgrades to level crossings and to remove speed restrictions on the Mildura line as well as for the annual maintenance allocation to be doubled in the state budget for the regional rail freight network.
“Unless the state can fix problems in the rail network, we won’t see prosperity in the region,” Cr Mather said.
Cr Mather said farmers in the Wimmera would benefit from a more vibrant rail system.
Alliance acting chairman Geoff White said the alliance also wanted improvements to Victorian ports.
“Port access issues including improving port turnaround times for grain are vital,” he said.
“My real concern is that the prosperity of this region will not be realised if government does not increase its investment in rail in this state.”