The Australian Automobile Association (AAA) has congratulated both leaders, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten for their commitments to invest in rail projects that will ease congestion and support the economy.

Mr Turnbull pledged $150 million for the Townsville Eastern Access Rail Corridor whilst Mr Shorten committed $175 million to duplicating rail to free up bottle necks at Port Botany.

AAA Chief Executive Michael Bradley said: “Both of these commitments are welcome as each will help businesses move their goods to markets while providing an alternative to doing so by road. This is good news for road users and good news for business owners.

“But while we welcome today’s announcements, there is much more to do, and urgently, if we are to ensure our transport system is a driver of, rather than a handbrake on, economic growth.”

Australian Government figures show congestion costs the Australian economy $16.5 billion per year and by 2031 this figure is forecast to have grown to $53 billion. The Government also puts the cost of congestion at around $1000 per person per year in major capital cities.

“Australian motorists will this year pay more than $18 billion in federal road-related taxes and they are looking for a better return on that investment.”

The AAA is inviting Australians to tell their candidates they want a better deal in transport through the website.