Parliamentary Secretary for the Illawarra and South Coast, Gareth Ward today announced four local projects are among 27 shortlisted for funding in the next stage of the NSW Government’s Fixing Country Rail infrastructure program.

“In Kiama there has been two proposals with one centered on upgrading the track between Berry and Bomaderry”, Mr Ward said.

“This would involve upgrading the 13 kilometer rail corridor between Berry and Bomaderry to Class 1 track.

“A second project proposed by Manildra extending the Bomaderry Yard limit, has also been approved to submit a full application. This would involve relocating the existing Bomaderry Home and Distant Signals a further 500 metres towards Berry to allow rail services to shunt and form.

“A new Container Terminal (funded by Manildra) would be constructed for packing of product and loading to road and rail. Two new rail sidings would also be constructed.

“These proposals would cut delivery times and allow more goods to be transported by rail, reducing costs for both producers and consumers.

“Furthermore, both Wollongong and Shellharbour have been the recipients of proposed new rail projects.

“The recommended new crossovers at Unanderra and Dunmore Loop have both been approved to submit full applications.

“The project in Unanderra would involve procurement and installation of a new crossover allowing rail services in excess of 600 metres to run around or cross with other services.

“Regional NSW produces around 210 million tonnes of freight a year, with freight volume expected to increase by 25 per cent over the next 40 years.

“Economic growth in rural areas relies on agricultural commodities, industrial products and natural resources being able to move to market efficiently.

“The Fixing Country Rail program complements the successful Fixing Country Roads initiative, with both focusing on improving freight infrastructure and efficiency across the state.

“The NSW Government has set aside more than $1 billion for regional road and rail projects under its Fixing Country Roads, Fixing Country Rail and Bridges for the Bush programs,” Mr Ward concluded.