THE Tasmanian Government has this week announced multi-million dollar plans to improve road and rail infrastructure in the state’s north-west to bolster mineral transportation.

The infrastructure package is valued at $3.86 million, taking the state government’s expenditure on upgrades for the region to $7m and improving investment outlooks for Tasmania’s developing resource industry.

“The State Government is determined to support our mining sector to continue investing in Tasmania and creating jobs for Tasmanians,” Deputy Premier Bryan Green said.

“More than $3.6 million of this funding will be used to upgrade rail infrastructure to enable the transport task to be by rail.

“A further $250,000 will be provided for an early start and completion of road upgrades to be funded from the State Government’s Community Roads Program.

“This follows a $3 million investment by Tas Railway to upgrade the Melba line so additional ore from new projects such as Venture Minerals’ Riley project can be transported.”

The significant upgrades are expected to support the commencement of key resource projects once necessary approvals have been granted, including the Riley project.

“The Riley Mine will inject around $54 million a year into the economy through jobs, transport, contractors and other services,” Mr Green said.

“This infrastructure investment will benefit not only the mining industry, but the entire North-West community well into the future.

“Not only will the upgrades assist current and proposed mines it will demonstrate a confidence in the region which will attract other new and exciting opportunities.”

Mr Green also said the infrastructure investment in road and rail complemented the Burnie port upgrades valued at $8 million to increase capacity for the state’s commodity exports.

“The first shipment of iron ore from Shree Minerals’ mine near Smithton recently left Burnie and bulk exports through the port will increase dramatically once more new mines like the Riley project get the go ahead,” he said.

“We are continuing to work with the mining industry to help bring new mines to fruition, so that all Tasmanians can benefit from the jobs and economic benefits that these exciting projects will deliver.”