Nationals remain committed to prospect of inland rail


Nationals use first meeting of 2015 to reaffirm support for the Melbourne to Brisbane inland rail project.

Nationals remain committed  to prospect of inland rail
Game changer: Warren Truss says inland rail will alter how Australia shifts freight around the nation.

 

The Nationals remain wedded to inland rail becoming a reality in Australia, with the party using its first meeting of the year to reaffirm its support for the project.

Nationals leader, deputy prime minister and infrastructure minister Warren Truss says the rail link, which is intended to run from Melbourne to Brisbane, will help meet Australia’s growing freight task and is crucial for the future prosperity of areas along and around its route.

The Federal Government has committed $300 million to the project to begin construction.

"It will be a game changer for how we move freight through this region, as well as across Victoria, New South Wales and Southern Queensland, linking to the existing national network to move freight around the nation," Truss says.

"It will connect regional communities with capital cities and producers with export markets."

Truss says the inland rail will connect production areas in regional Victoria and NSW with ports in Brisbane and Melbourne.

Former deputy prime minister and Nationals MP John Anderson has been tasked with developing a report on inland rail to determine construction priorities, alignment and financing options.

Truss claims inland rail will provide enough capacity to serve the east coast freight market for the next 50 years.

"Inland rail will enable Australia's freight rail services to strongly compete with road, through substantially reduced transit times and improvements in rail service quality and pricing," he says.

"It will boost national productivity, helping consumers through lower transport costs and supporting economic development along the corridor as a major fillip for agriculture, mining and other regional industries."

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