Jun 22, 2010

International Level Crossing Awareness Day

International Level Crossing Awareness Day

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

The Minister for Infrastructure, Transport,

Regional Development and Local Government

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

22 June 2010

The Rudd Labor Government together with the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) have marked International Level Crossing Awareness Day by announcing boom gates have been installed at the 47th NSW level crossing to be made safer with economic stimulus money.

Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese said it was fitting that a day established to promote safety around level crossings has coincided with the final phase in the rollout of the Rudd Labor Government’s $150 million Boom Gates for Rail Crossings Program – an initiative funded in last year’s Economic Stimulus Plan.

“All up, we allocated $42.7 million to improve safety around 55 of the State’s high risk level crossings, with the one located on South Bank Road, EUNGAI the latest to receive boom gates,” said Mr Albanese.

“Never before has there been a Federal program dedicated to improving safety and preventing accidents at level crossings. As well as improving the safety of the State’s local roads, our investment created jobs and supported businesses during last year’s global recession.

“Tragically about 100 accidents occur at level crossings every year, with seven having been recorded between July 2007 and June 2008 in NSW, one of which resulted in a fatality.”

All 55 level crossing upgrades are expected to be completed by early July.

ARTC CEO David Marchant said safety at level crossings was of paramount concern.

“The completion of the roll-out of level crossing upgrades across NSW has been an important step forward in increasing safety for pedestrians, motorists and train drivers at numerous sites around rural and regional NSW,” said Mr Marchant.

“The upgrades have been necessary due to improvements in signal technology and rail infrastructure which have allowed trains to pass through various sections of the North South and East West rail links more efficiently.

“As we increase capacity and reliability on the rail corridors, so too we need to enhance safety which is what these upgrades in NSW have been designed to achieve.”

The NSW component of the Program has created 65 full time equivalent positions and injected some $5 million into the State’s regional communities. Once fully rolled out, some 300 level crossings around the country will be made safer.