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Rural Councils Welcome Murray Basin Rail Commitment

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Rural Councils Victoria (RCV) has welcomed Monday’s funding announcement by the Minister for Public Transport, the Hon. Jacinta Allan and the Minister for Regional Development and Agriculture the Hon. Jaala Pulford, of the Victorian Government’s $416 million commitment to the Murray Basin Rail project.

The project is expected to create over 270 jobs and will bring a range of other economic benefits to rural Northwest Victoria. RCV Chair, Cr Rob Gersch said that “Improved access to ports and the rail freight network will be greatly received by our members”.

Cr Gersch said that RCV’s focus is on creating vibrant and sustainable rural economies, and that 270 jobs in the Northwest will make an important contribution to that end. “Strong rural economies and jobs for young people are key factors in strengthening and sustaining rural communities”

The government’s investment into the Murray Basin Rail network will ensure that primary producers and other agribusinesses could get their products to port more cost effectively. It will also mean fewer trucks using rural road corridors, which are already under considerable strain.

Cr Gersch said that while RCV’s members in the North West of the state welcome the investment, additional funding to improve roads and other infrastructure across the state is also needed.

RCV is the alliance of Victoria’s 38 rural councils. It supports and promotes sustainable, liveable and prosperous rural communities, including a program of activities focused on developing practical solutions to issues shared by the state’s rural councils and communities.

Rural Councils Victoria is supported with funding from the Victorian Government’s $3.3million Networked Rural Councils program.

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