The NSW Government is investing $40 million to upgrade 13 kilometres of the South Coast Line between Berry and Bomaderry allowing heavier trains carrying up to 25 tonne axle loads to use the track.

The project, submitted by Manildra Flour Mills, was one of eleven successful in the $137 million NSW Government’s Fixing Country Rail program.

Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight Melinda Pavey said the project would remove more than 10,000 trucks from roads each year, shifting 350,000 tonnes of freight onto rail.

“Regional NSW produces an estimated 210 million tonnes of freight a year and this is expected to increase by 25 per cent in the next 40 years,” Mrs Pavey said.

“The removal of speed restrictions and the increased capacity on the South Coast Line will lead to a more efficient movement of higher volumes of freight to Port Botany.”

Eleven projects across regional NSW were successful in the program, including sidings, passing loops and network enhancements, facilitating faster, longer or heavier trains.

Member for Kiama Gareth Ward said the project would cut delivery times, allow more goods to be transported by rail and reduce costs for both producers and consumers.

“This is a great win for communities on the South Coast, our roads will be much safer and it provides increased capacity for us to expand our freight industry,” Mr Ward said.

“Economic growth in areas like ours relies on food, produce and raw materials, which feed and power NSW, being able to move to market efficiently.

“This program is designed to reduce the cost of getting goods to market, creating benefits to our consumers at the till of their local supermarkets and increases competition.”

Member for South Coast Shelley Hancock said the $40 million investment complements over $1 billion the Berejiklian Government has already invested into the Princes Highway.

“The NSW Government continues to support local South Coast businesses through infrastructure investment and tax relief, creating further employment for local communities.”