Deputy premier Bryan Green said more than $3.6m of funding from the Tasmanian Government will be used to upgrade rail infrastructure, along with $250,000 for road upgrades.
The funding will upgrade Tasmania’s West Coast rail line to cater for new mining developments that are occurring in the north west and to enable miners’ transport task to be by rail.
Green said the government’s investment follows $3m from TasRail to upgrade the Melba line so additional ore from new projects such as Venture Minerals’ Riley project can also be transported by rail.
It also complements the government’s $8m upgrade of Burnie port, he added.
“The investments will allow for the timely commencement of mining activity, such as the Riley project, once it received final unencumbered environmental approvals,” Green said.
He said the decision to fund the infrastructure highlighted the government’s strong support for the mining sector and clearly demonstrated Tasmania’s industry was open for business.
“Not only will the upgrades assist current and proposed mines it will demonstrate a confidence in the region which will attract other new and exciting opportunities,” Green said.
Green believes that Tasmania is seeing a resurgence and revitalisation of its rail system.
“We now have a business that is steadily growing freight volumes and pursuing new business opportunities while overseeing a massive capital investment program both above and below rail,” he said.