Albanese backs work on inland rail...by 2014


Government commits to inland rail if re-elected, but project won't be delivered in its next term

August 5, 2010

The Federal Government has committed itself to an inland rail link from Brisbane to Melbourne if re-elected on August 21, but work will not begin in its next term.

Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Anthony Albanese today committed to three years of pre-construction work on the link in late 2014, meaning Prime Minister Julia Gillard will need to win the 2013 election to deliver the project.

The 1700km rail line is expected to cost $4.7 billion over eight years and will travel through central NSW.

The Government will need to build 600km of new and upgrade 430km of existing track.

Albanese says an inland route will improve rail’s reliability and competitiveness.

"It will provide a boost to our national economy and regional industries, especially agriculture and mining," Albanese says of the project.

He says the link will take trucks off highways and pressure off the existing North South line through Sydney.

The commitment follows the completion of the Inland Rail Study by the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC).

The ARTC says the link has long term merit but will not be viable until 2030.

According to the report, the link will compete with road freight by delivering transit times of less than 22 hours.

Referring to its investment in rail, Albanese says there is no greater supporter in the network than the Federal Government.

"In less than three years, we’ve corrected the long standing funding imbalance that favoured road, and increased annual spending on rail ten-fold to an unprecedented $9 billion over six years," he says.

Money for the project will come from the Nation Building Program’s next round of funding, which is due to begin in 2014-2015.


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