Kilgariff calls for Brisbane port rail action

Queensland supply chain efficiency depends on dedicated link, ALC boss says

Kilgariff calls for Brisbane port rail action
Michael Kilgariff says Queensland freight infrastructure development must accelerate.


A rail link to the Port of Brisbane for freight only is economically crucial for both Queensland and the nation, the Queensland Transport Infrastructure Conference has heard.

Delivery of the Infrastructure Australia 15-year Plan and accelerating the market led proposals process are a matter of high priority, ALC MD Michael Kilgariff tells attendees.

"The efficiency of Queensland’s supply chains is critical to the national freight effort and to enhancing Australia’s economic prosperity," Kilgariff says. 

"With Queensland’s freight task predicted to increase from 871 million tonnes in 2010–11 to more than one and a half billion tonnes by 2026, it is essential that governments at both the state and federal levels prioritise a number of supply chain investments and reforms to accommodate future freight growth. 

"Chief among these is support for a dedicated freight rail connection to the Port of Brisbane.

"The Port of Brisbane is one of Australia’s fastest growing container ports and Queensland’s largest multi-cargo port, but without dedicated freight rail access to the port, future growth, productivity and competitiveness will be severely constrained. 

"We can only create a truly national freight rail network by ensuring a dedicated freight rail connection to the Port of Brisbane continues to progress with both levels of government, either as part of the Inland Rail project, or as a standalone project," he said. 

Kilgariff also encouraged delivery on Infrastructure Australia’s 15-year Infrastructure Plan to ensure appropriate freight corridors are identified and protected throughout Queensland. 

"This includes, for example, the inland rail route which Infrastructure Australia recently added to its Priority Project List which is welcomed by ALC," he says. 

"This important step needs to be built upon, including delivery of IA’s recommendation for all levels of government to establish effective corridor protection mechanisms to ensure the timely preservation of freight corridors and strategic sites."

With the Queensland Government ruling out asset sales in this term of government, he urges an acceleration of the market-led proposals process to speed up the delivery of critical freight projects. 

"There are proponents in Queensland that want to invest in freight bottlenecks, but which are not being progressed quickly enough," Kilgariff said. 

"We encourage the Queensland government to expedite a number of important projects, including those in the Western System, the Mt Isa-Townsville line and in the Surat Basin Rail corridor."

The speech comes nearly two months after the ALC welcomed the state’s infrastructure plan.

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