Inland Rail Starts Here and Now
28 November 2013
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss has committed the Coalition Government to fast-tracking delivery of the iconic Inland Rail project.
In his address to the AusRAIL 2013 conference in Sydney today, Mr Truss said that the Government is determined to roll-out infrastructure essential to boosting our national productivity and we will bring forward the Melbourne-to-Brisbane Inland Railway.
“To ensure construction starts as soon as possible, I will create a high-level Implementation Group to be chaired by former Deputy Prime Minister John Anderson. This announcement builds on my commitment during the election campaign to provide federal funding of $300 million to get the project back on track.
“As Australia's longest serving Transport Minister, John has the experience and the networks to help bring this major infrastructure project to fruition. He has a strong record in making rail a central feature of the national freight task and a pillar of the economy, and he will bring people to the table to make our vision a reality…and make it happen fast.
“The Implementation Group will report to me. Importantly, its role will help determine construction priorities and ensure engagement with the community and stakeholders.
“Its first priority will be to finally settle the alignment and reserve land for the route. The Group will examine financing options and engage with private sector investors and those with significant interests along the line that will benefit from its construction.
“I have written to the Premiers of Queensland, NSW and Victoria to seek their cooperation and invited them to nominate a representative to join the Secretary of my Department, Mr Mike Mrdak, and the CEO of the Australian Rail Track Corporation, Mr John Fullerton, on the Implementation Group.
“The Australian Rail Track Corporation will, under the guidance of the Implementation Group, work with interested parties to construct the Inland Rail project through a staged 10-year schedule.
“We have also committed to investigate the rail infrastructure required for a new 24/7 dedicated freight line to the Port of Brisbane. I remain committed to working with the Port of Brisbane to develop a significant international gateway linking with the regions and mines of South East Queensland and Northern NSW to the markets of the world.
“I look forward to the Inland Rail boosting rail access and national productivity by linking our eastern production zones and revitalising regional centres across three states.”