Feb 24, 2009

Concrete sleepers a boost to local jobs

Concrete sleepers a boost to local jobs

MEDIA RELEASE

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

The Minister for Infrastructure, Transport,

Regional Development and Local Government

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

February 24 2009

New concrete railway sleepers will continue rolling out of Geelong, Grafton, Mittagong and Wagga Wagga thanks to the Rudd Labor Government’s $1.2 billion investment in the interstate rail network.

Austrak’s factories in Geelong and Wagga Wagga employ 50 and 65 locals respectively while Rocla Sleepers’ Grafton and Mittagong factories each employ 60 locals. All are producing new dual gauge concrete sleepers – and as result of the Government’s unprecedented investment will continue to operate at full capacity until November.

Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese said the new sleepers will replace the old wooden sleepers along the interstate network between Melbourne-Sydney-Brisbane, greatly reducing the likelihood of the track buckling during hot weather.

“The new sleepers will create a faster, more reliable rail system,” said Mr Albanese. “The upgrade of this vital line is perhaps the biggest rail project to be undertaken in Australia since the corridor was originally laid."

ARTC Chief Executive Officer David Marchant explained that while the production of the concrete sleepers is essential for projects on the North South corridor and other interstate freight rail projects, the work will also benefit the local communities.