Budget earmarks $594m for Inland Rail corridor

Posted May 3, 2016

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The Federal Government’s half-a-billion-dollar funding boost to the Inland Rail project is critical to improving the efficiency of Australia’s supply chains, says the Australian Logistics Council (ALC).

The Government set aside $594 million in the 2016 Budget to acquire land for the proposed inland rail corridor.

The planned 1700km rail connection will link Brisbane to Melbourne via Toowoomba.

“Inland rail is critical to Australia’s freight future given the expectations of the growth in the freight task and I therefore welcome the Government’s significant funding commitment to acquire the land necessary to construct Inland Rail,” ALC managing director Michael Kilgariff said.

“We also note tonight’s announcement to retain the Australian Rail Track Corporation in Australian Government ownership.

“This decision represents a significant commitment by Government to the Inland Rail project and we look forward to this ownership arrangement supporting the timely and efficient delivery of the project.

“With our freight task expected to triple by 2050, rail simply has to make a greater contribution to the movement of freight along Australia’s north–south corridor.”

Federal Member for Groom Ian Macfarlane said the corridor funding took the amount allocated by the Coalition to make Inland Rail a reality to $894 million.

“The Inland Rail project will reduce freight times between Brisbane and Melbourne to less than 24 hours,” Mr MacFarlane said.

“One single train on the inland rail line will remove 110 B-Double trucks from our nation’s highways.

“For the Darling Downs, inland rail will deliver markedly improved access to interstate services, and this will reduce costs for our local industries such as livestock and grains production.

“Toowoomba is well on its way to becoming a world-class transport logistics hub, with international air connectivity through Wellcamp Airport and soon better road freight access via the Second Range Crossing.

“Inland Rail will close the so-called ‘missing link’, completing the trifecta of rail, road and air transportation infrastructure in Toowoomba and is one of Australia’s most ambitious rail plans, and it will ensure our local produce gets to market cheaply and efficiently.”

The Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) awarded more than $11 million in contracts early this year to progress planning on the Inland Rail project.

A joint venture of SMEC and Arup won the technical and engineering advisory contract and a further six contracts were awarded to consultancies GHD, Parsons Brinkerhoff, AECOM, Arup and Jacobs for the initial environmental investigations and engineering design.

More at http://inlandrail.artc.com.au/

 

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