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Rail funding will shape a better, more connected future for all Australians

Rowenna Walker, Aurecon

Aurecon's Global Service Leader, Rowenna Walker

12 May 2017 - According to Rowenna Walker, Global Service Leader, Rail and Mass Transit at Aurecon, the 2017-2018 Australian Federal Budget will see a significantly enhanced level of connectivity of people, places and goods across cities and regional Australia.

This is the first Federal Budget in a number of years to invest so significantly in rail.

“There is over $20bn of investment announced in the Budget which addresses not just growing populations in major cities, but also regional passenger and freight mobility,” said Ms Walker.

“As governments around the globe increasingly focus on the effective integration of economic, social, environmental and financial policy into investment and infrastructure, Aurecon has made rail a priority,” adds Ms Walker.

Airport developments such as the Western Sydney Airport (WSA) and Melbourne’s Tullamarine Airport rail link will be a catalyst for jobs creation and economic development, while positioning WSA in particular as an Aerotroplis for Sydney’s rapidly developing western corridor.

$8.4bn will go towards Inland Rail – critical to the efficient movement of freight across the Eastern Seaboard and releasing pressure on the already congested road network. Importantly $10bn is being invested in the National Rail Program, which will allocate funding to regional rail links dependent on the strength of their business case.

"We will see the need for rigorous and measured business cases to secure a share of this federal funding, as well as support the exploration of more innovative funding and financing options to deliver potentially big economic and social impacts,” Ms Walker said.

“Stakeholder and community engagement at every stage of a project, from conception though design, delivery, and operation has become critical to the success of these large complex rail projects.

“We call it at Aurecon ‘human centric infrastructure design’ and without that approach to design major projects have the potential to suffer in ensuring timely and on budget delivery,” adds Ms Walker.

Ms Walker has recently played an executive leadership role in Australia’s Australian Rail Track Corporation Inland Rail Project and Transport for New South Wales’ Sydney Light Rail, as well as major projects in the UK, Hong Kong and New Zealand.

Aurecon’s global team of rail and mass transit specialists delivering smart, efficient and future-proofed rail solutions across passenger and metro networks, light rail and freight and heavy haul rail.

Aurecon’s experience in the rail sector includes projects such as Melbourne Metro Rail, Auckland City Rail Link, multiple projects as part of the Novo Rail Alliance, the current Melbourne Level Crossing Removals, and the recently completed Moreton Bay Rail Link.

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