The Australian Logistics Council (ALC) welcomed two key developments last week that indicate the Federal Government is strengthening its commitment to construct the Inland Rail project, which will establish a port-to-port rail link from Melbourne to Brisbane.
“Minister Chester said during his address to ALC Forum 2017 […] that his challenge was to make the development of Inland Rail inevitable,” said Michael Kilgariff, Managing Director, ALC.
“This week has witnessed two positive steps in that direction, with the opening of an information centre for the project in Toowoomba, as well as the declaration of the Gowrie to Helidon and Helidon to Calvert sections in Queensland as coordinated projects.”
Kilgariff noted that the declaration will permit the preparation of an environmental impact statement for these sections, and is a further sign that this much-needed piece of transport infrastructure is at last becoming a reality.
“ALC has long advocated for the Inland Rail project to be built,” Kilgariff said. “It will feature prominently in the Inquiry into National Freight and Supply Chain Priorities, which is now underway, and from which the National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy will be developed.
“Australia’s ability to continue growing its economy and creating jobs depends on the ability of producers to deliver goods to market quickly and safely.”
Kilgariff added that a safe and efficient supply chain will be essential for freight operators as the nation’s freight task grows by 26 per cent over the coming decade, according to the National Transport Commission’s Who Moves What Where report.
“Inland Rail will play a critical part in achieving that objective by allowing more efficient movement of freight, and also reducing congestion on our key road transport corridors,” he said.