PacNat welcomes Labor Inland Rail commitment

The rail freight group is hopeful the new government will help finish the Inland Rail project

PacNat welcomes Labor Inland Rail commitment
PacNat is hopeful the new federal government can help complete the Inland Rail project

Rail freight operator Pacific National (PacNat) is welcoming the new federal government’s move to focus on finishing the construction of the Inland Rail project.

Last month prime minister Anthony Albanese said the Inland Rail will hopefully "underpin decades of economic prosperity and growth" when completed.

"But nearly a decade later, it is clear the Inland Rail is not being delivered properly," he said.

"The truth is that the route is not finalised. It does not actually terminate at the Port of Brisbane, but 38 kilometres away at Acacia Ridge."

With Albanese’s Labor party now in as government, Pacific National CEO Paul Scurrah says the party’s commitment to providing greater oversight of the project is a positive.

The government’s proposed oversight may extend to the location of future intermodal terminals, leaving Scurrah optimistic about the future of the Inland Rail.

"Intermodal terminals must be positioned in locations to secure a shift of freight from road to rail to deliver reduced emissions, traffic congestion and road accidents," Scurrah says.

"Shoring investment confidence in the freight and logistics sector, particularly at a time when the national supply chain is under intense cost pressures and capacity restraints, is also imperative."

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PacNat says it wants to see independent infrastructure group Infrastructure Australia get more of an opportunity to enhance the safety and productivity of the national supply chain.

Scurrah says this heightened responsibility would include upgrading tracks to increase resilience on interstate rail networks.

"In a competitive global marketplace, Australian import and export businesses can’t afford to have major railways shut down for extended periods of time due to sub-standard track infrastructure," Scurrah says.

Scurrah says he expects new prime minister Albanese’s background in infrastructure and transport to help him understand the rail industry’s needs.

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