27 September 2023

Inland Rail agreement on track

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The most significant freight infrastructure project in Australia’s history has taken a major step forward with the Australian and Queensland Governments signing a bilateral agreement to deliver Inland Rail.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Michael McCormack said the agreement would ensure Queensland’s future growth was supported by a robust freight rail network.

“We are transforming the way freight is moved in Australia. For every dollar we are investing in Inland Rail, $2.62 will be returned to the national economy,” Mr McCormack said.

“Modelling by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation shows an average saving of $76 per tonne for horticulture and post-processed food when shifted onto the double-stacked trains.”

He said the data was clear – Inland Rail would be a game-changer for regional Australia.

“We’re already seeing the benefits in NSW with the section of track between Parkes and Narromine under way. For this 100-kilometre section, more than $46 million in contracts have been committed to 84 local businesses,” Mr McCormack said.

Federal Minister for Finance, Mathias Cormann said the signing of the bilateral agreement was a crucial step towards delivering a more efficient freight network for the future, underpinning national economic growth and international competitiveness.

“Long-haul rail is cheaper, safer and more reliable than moving freight by road over those distances. The shift from road to rail is crucial to ensuring our freight network meets the needs of our growing population,” Senator Cormann said.

Queensland Minister for Transport and Main Roads, Mark Bailey said the agreement cemented protections for Queenslanders and would see close to $2 billion in joint-funding fast-tracked for road and rail projects across the State.

“This deal will see us work with the Federal Government on business cases for passenger rail services from Salisbury-to-Beaudesert, Brisbane-to-Toowoomba and a dedicated rail freight line to the Port of Brisbane,” Mr Bailey said.

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