Industry welcomes Inland Rail progress news
ALC says freight rail network should take priority over other projects such as high speed rail
The news that phase two of market testing for private sector involvement in the 1700km freight rail connection between Melbourne and Brisbane will be held later this month or early next month has met with Australian Logistics Council (ALC) approval.
Having highlighted Inland Rail as a priority project in its 2017-18 Budget submission, ALC says the project will improve movement of freight between Victoria and Queensland.
"Private sector involvement in the delivery of Inland Rail will be critical to progress this nationally significant infrastructure project," ALC MD Michael Kilgariff says.
"ALC’s 2017-2018 Budget submission encourages the government to commit to funding for construction to allow industry to plan for when operations commence.
"Further government support for the 1,700km link between Brisbane and Melbourne is essential to ensure this project comes to fruition, and in so doing, to complete the spine of the national freight rail network.
"Infrastructure Australia’s Infrastructure Priority List identifies Inland Rail as a Priority Project, noting the long-term benefits to potential users of the project, users of alternative infrastructure, and the broader economy.
"This underscores why investment in economically significant projects, such as Inland Rail, should be preferred to other more speculative projects such as high speed rail, for which the net public benefit to the Australian economy is far less established.
"ALC 2016 election priorities document Getting the Supply Chain Right and video Now is the time To Get the Supply Chain Right highlighted the critical role the Inland Rail project will play in the future supporting more efficient freight movement.
"To maximise its effectiveness, the inland rail route must have end to end connectivity and include efficient linkages to key freight hubs and intermodal terminals, such as InterLinkSQ – a master-planned logistics, warehousing and industrial estate located 13km west of Toowoomba."