Calls for reinstatement of the Blayney-Demondrille Rail Line are picking-up steam following a recent meeting between representatives of the five councils on the line, Cowra Mayor, Bill West said.
Particularly with the recent release of the Infrastructure Australia report highlighting urban congestion in metropolitan areas, now's the time for the State Government to look at the many benefits of the line re-opening, Cr West said.
"We're still pushing the financial, social, and economic benefits of the re-opening of the line, and also the strategic importance of freight corridors," Cr West explained.
"These include removing heavy vehicles off our congested roads; better access to and from Sydney markets and ports for country producers; safer transport; reduced energy use and pollution; and less congestion on the Sydney-Blue Mountains line," Cr West added.
The five councils, Blayney, Cowra, Young, Harden, and Weddin, are seeking a meeting with State Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight, Duncan Gay, asking that the State Government take a serious look at re-opening the "Cowra Lines".
Minister Gay announced in May last year that a tender process to privatise the line had failed to approve re-opening following concerns over the long-term financial viability of the proposals
"The Minister has indicated that he supports the re-opening in-principle, now's the time for the State Government to give clear indications to the councils how the matter — in the Government's mind — should proceed," Cr West said.
Cr West said that despite the decision to not accept a tender for re-opening the line, the social, economic, and logistical benefits are still compelling.
The five Councils involved in calling for re-opening of the 200km rail revival project would hold the Minister to his word that "The Cowra Lines" could still be reopened in the future, Cr West added.
"The Councils see the strategic significance of the line re-routing from the Sydney train commuter network and providing a link directly into Port Kembla and Port Botany, a link that would be enhanced with the completion of the much-anticipated Maldon Dombarton link.
"These are the potential economic benefits let alone the social and environmental benefits of getting an increasingly-large volume of heavy vehicles off our rural roads and out of our towns," Cr West concluded.