PROPOSALS PROGRESS TO CONNECT MARANOA TO INLAND RAIL BENEFITSApril 29, 2020
Removing bottle-necks for trucks, trailers and other high-productivity vehicles to intermodal sites near Goondiwindi and upgrades to the current South Western rail line between Kurumbul to Thallon are among the local ideas earmarked for development as business cases under the Australian Government’s $44 million Inland Rail Interface Improvement Program.
Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Water Resources and Local member for Maranoa, David Littleproud congratulated the Border Regional Organisation of Councils, the Toowoomba Regional Council and the Goondiwindi Regional Council for their successful proposals.
“I am happy to see local governments and communities come forward with innovative ideas that enhance the connection to Inland Rail,” Mr Littleproud said.
“These past months we have seen first-hand how vital our producers and manufacturers are to the nation – keeping our supermarket shelves stocked is a national priority.
“The proposals put forward through the II Program, ensure that our region, the food bowl of Queensland, is front and centre for further investments that can support supply chain productivity and growth over the coming decades.
“It is essential that locals are involved in the delivery of Inland Rail in Maranoa – to both maximise the benefits and mitigate potential risks as we prioritise the safety of our community throughout the delivery and operation of Inland Rail.”
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the Interface Improvement Program was supporting local government, industry and regional communities to maximise connection to Inland Rail and enhance supply chain productivity.
“With Inland Rail’s operation comes the potential for long-term growth in regional Australia – and with the right investments and planning we could see a further $13.3 billion in regional economic uplift for communities along the alignment,” Mr McCormack said.
“We want to support local communities and industry to progress those big connectivity ideas that will ultimately mean more people and more businesses connected to the benefits that come from Inland Rail’s efficient, reliable and low-cost transport.
“Those proponents will now work with specialists appointed through the Program to further develop these local ideas into robust businesses cases and feasibility studies.”
Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said Inland Rail would change the way freight is moved around Australia – connecting supply chains and consumers through fast and efficient freight rail
“The 1,700km Inland Rail line will connect Melbourne and Brisbane through fast and reliable freight rail that travels inland through Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria,” Minister Cormann said.
“Our commitment through the Interface Improvement Program will further enhance community and industry connectivity to Inland Rail, and drive additional supply chain benefits and economic outcomes at a local and regional level.”
Eligible project proposals captured in Maranoa include:
- Reviewing access opportunities and improving connectivity for B-Double trucks and other high-productivity vehicles to current and potential intermodal sites on existing rail corridors. This has the potential to review Bruxner Way, the Boggabilla Siding, the existing narrow-gauge rail near Thallon and major roads linking Goondiwindi.
- Developing a rail corridor connection between Goondiwindi and Inland Rail through upgrades to the current South Western rail line between Kurumbul and Thallon along the Queensland and New South Wales border.
- Developing a rail provisioning/maintenance centre for Inland Rail operations at strategic locations within the Toowoomba region. The proposal has the potential to maximise economic benefits for rural townships, for example the southern township of Millmerran.
- Investigating additional rail connections to the existing South West Rail System at Southbrook and Yelarbon. The proposal has the potential to improve rail connections to Inland Rail to accommodate heavy agricultural, mining and bulk commodity loads from the west, and to minimise the need for both road and rail freight loads through the city of Toowoomba.
- Upgrade and reopen the existing Western/West Morton Rail System and the South West Rail System. The proposal has the potential to maximise the benefits of Inland Rail through upgrading existing rail systems to accommodate the same loads as Inland Rail, and revitalising these lines through cost-effective integration.
For the proponents and the region, this is an opportunity to assess the costs and benefits of these proposals according to the best practice gateway process for infrastructure investment.
To progress through the gateways, proposals are assessed against the Interface Improvement Program principles and information requirements.
Find out more about the Interface Improvement Program and other successful proposals at https://www.inlandrail.gov.au/regional-development/interface-improvement-program
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