ARA CEO Danny Broad has congratulated the Australian and Queensland Governments for agreeing to proceed with the Inland Rail project, a commitment that secures this vital rail freight project for the nation.
“The 1,700km Inland Rail line will link Brisbane directly to Melbourne via Toowoomba, Moree, Parkes and Albury, allowing rail freight transportation along that corridor in less than 24 hours,” he said.
“Double stacked trains will vastly improve the efficiency of rail freight, helping our industries get products to market more quickly, improving our supply chains and benefiting the Australian economy.”
“Inland Rail will also ease road congestion on our east coast highways, making rail freight more competitive and allowing more freight to move from truck to train, improving road safety and reducing transport emissions.”
“Getting the Queensland government on-board was critical for final planning, approvals and rail corridor preservation to get the project moving and create thousands of jobs,” he said.
Regarding the additional funding for Gold Coast Light Rail, Mr Broad said, “The Commonwealth’s provision of an additional $157million for the Gold Coast Light rail extension 3A, which involves new stations and an upgraded interchange at Burleigh Heads, continues the trend for the Commonwealth to support State Governments with public transport projects.
“Gold Coast Light rail has proved to be tremendously successful and we anticipate more benefits to flow with its extension further south, “he said.
Associated with these major announcements were a number of other rail upgrades in Queensland, including an additional $20 million allocated to a planning study on the much-needed connection from Acacia Ridge, to the Port of Brisbane, to be matched in-kind by the Queensland Government.
In addition, the Commonwealth has allocated A$50 million for the relocation of the Loganlea Station, from 2020-21 with a matching Queensland Government contribution of $45 million.
$90 million has also been brought forward by the Commonwealth to fund the North Coast Rail Line Upgrade between Beerburrum and Nambour to allow stage 1 to be undertaken.
There will also be an additional $10 million for the development of a business case for the Salisbury to Beaudesert rail line, a growing part of South-east Queensland, with the Queensland Government making a matching contribution of $10 million.
“These commitments demonstrate that the Commonwealth and Queensland Governments recognise that well planned and funded rail projects play a vital role in making cities liveable, moving people and freight and driving our economy,” said Mr Broad.