The Chair of the Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail Alliance (MBIRA) Mayor of Parkes, Cr Ken Keith OAM has welcomed the Federal Government's determination of the preferred Queensland section of the Inland Rail.
Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester today announced the preferred corridor for the Yelarbon and Gowrie section of the Inland Rail project, following a review of four potential alignment options.
Councillor Keith said that the preferred section, which runs via Pittsworth, Brookstead and the Wellcamp-Charlton industrial precinct, will inject billions of dollars into the regional economies that lie along the route.
"It's expected that during construction, up to 16,000 direct jobs will be created with an average of 800 new jobs per year, and an addition 700 jobs per year once operational on average. A huge boost to these regional communities."
"Furthermore, efficient rail access provides a range of opportunities, increasing the competitiveness of agriculture and opening up our export markets to compete in the world market."
"This gives industry confidence in investing in regional New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria."
The final design will be subject to an extensive State government planning and approvals process, which will work through questions about technical and environmental aspects.
"MBIRA supports the decision to establish a Community Consultative Committee to ensure feedback is sought from landholders, businesses and residents impacted by the decision," Cr Keith added.
"The announcement adds certainty to the Inland Rail project and it is fabulous to see it moving forward within Queensland. Additionally ARTC has recently called for interested contractors for the Parkes to Narromine section of the line."
Inland Rail is a once-in-a-generation project, and the Australian Government committed an additional $8.4 billion in the 2017–18 Budget to its delivery.
For more information about the Inland Rail project, visit www.inlandrail.com.au