The importance of Inland Rail

The Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail is a nation-building project that will transport products across Eastern Australia. 

Discussed for more than 30 years, the project is designed to meet Australia’s significant future freight task by delivering products safely, efficiently, with less carbon emissions, by utilising rail and reducing the number of trucks on the road. 

Inland Rail is an important piece of infrastructure which will enable Toowoomba to become a major transport and logistics hub, and the project has wide support across the region from businesses as well as primary producers who are excited about the possibilities of getting their products to market more efficiently. 

There are a small number of opponents to the project locally who are concerned about the impacts of flooding across the Condamine Floodplain. 

To ensure the safety of the project, the Federal and State Governments commissioned a study by world leading flood specialists to review the plans.

The draft report findings showed that the plans were in line with industry best practice, and any issues identified were capable of resolution.

TSBE CEO, Ali Davenport is urging the newly elected Federal Government to keep the project on track.

“There have been five reviews into the alignment, plus the recent flood modelling study and because of this the project has experienced significant delays.”

Construction should have been underway in Queensland 2 years ago and the costs are increasing because of it.”

“Our freight task is only increasing across Australia and without Inland Rail the situation on our roads will become even worse.”

“We know that rail freight produces six times less CO2 than trucks, so there are significant benefits to the environment with Inland Rail to help Australia achieve net zero by 2050.”

“It is critical that the route go via Toowoomba so that our agricultural sector has access to reliable freight transport, particularly for our primary producers.”

“Faster passage of goods to ports will reduce costs, ensuring our producers are more competitive nationally and internationally.”

“Toowoomba will play an important role in Inland Rail due to the intersection of the Warrego, New England and Gore/Newell Highways, and of course the $1.6 billion Toowoomba Bypass that the State and Federal Governments invested in”.

“We understand the new Prime Minister will be interested in looking closely at this project as he was the one that initiated it and provided the initial funding in 2012 when he was the Federal Transport Minister for the Gillard Government.”

Ms Davenport said she was confident that ARTC’s processes have been thorough and that the project should now be on track to get started in Queensland.

“We’re now calling for the construction to get underway without further delay or distraction’. 

“This project is expected to deliver a $7.3 billion economic injection to Queensland and create over 7,000 jobs, it will mean lower transport costs and a whole new industry of transport and logistics for our region.”   

Local businesses are set to benefit from this major project and it is a catalyst for regional employment and economic opportunity.

“TSBE has over 300 businesses registered on our Inland Rail Suppliers Portal who are ‘Inland Rail ready’ and capable to work on these works packages,” said Ms Davenport.

“We have capability in the region and we are focused on maximising local jobs and procurement.”

“So let’s get on with it.”