Labor backs rail revival

THE Derwent Valley Rail could be operating again as soon as early next year after the Government confirmed it would table a corridor notice soon.

The corridor notice would enable the Derwent Valley Railway to use a section of the track.

Labor Leader Rebecca White said she supported the Derwent Valley Rail getting access to the line as soon as possible.

“Last Tuesday I had the opportunity to ask the Government how negotiations regarding access to the railway line were going,” Ms White said.
“It was revealed that the corridor notice for the first section of rail access is being prepared and will be tabled in Parliament later this year.”

Ms White said it was vital Derwent Valley Rail gained access to the line ensuring it could operate and generate revenue as well as offering a top-class visitor experience.

“The Government provided important funding to help with the cost of insurance for operators across the state and this is welcome, but access to tracks is even more important.
“I look forward to the Derwent Valley benefitting from everything tourist and heritage rail can bring.”

Infrastructure and Transport Minister Michael Ferguson welcomed the Opposition’s support for the Government’s solution for opening up the track.

“Earlier this year, following discussions with heritage rail organisations, including the Derwent Valley Railway, I committed the Government to $600,000 over seven years to offset the cost of public liability insurance necessary to operate on the non-operational sections of the Tasmanian rail network,’’ Mr Ferguson said.
“After close cooperation between my department and the hard working team at Derwent Valley Railway, the official corridor notice is now being prepared to allow access to a short section of the Derwent Valley Line around the old New Norfolk Station.
“I note that the Opposition has indicated it will support this in both Houses of Parliament when I table it later this year.”
“In 2018, the Government also committed $25,000 to the Derwent Valley Railway to assist them in planning.
“The Derwent Valley Railway has identified a staged approach to re-establishing services.”
“Future extensions can be facilitated through making additional sections of the line available through the strategic corridors legislative process.”