TEARC business case to be considered by the Australian Government

The Turnbull Government understands that following the release of the business case for the Townsville Eastern Access Rail Corridor (TEARC) today, the Queensland Government has concluded that the costs of the project would significantly outweigh the benefits for the community.

It is disappointing that the business case led by the Queensland Government reaches this conclusion—and we expect that the Townsville community will be disappointed by this conclusion as well.

Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Michael McCormack said as a first step, the Australian Government will thoroughly review the business case, including seeking independent advice from Infrastructure Australia.

“We want to leave no stone unturned in determining if the TEARC project can be viable,” Mr McCormack said.

“Our commitment is to invest more than $250 million in Townsville under the Townsville City Deal, and we stand by that commitment.”

Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matthew Canavan said the Australian Government was committed to supporting Townsville's economic development.

“Through the work of the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility, through our consultations on the Townsville City Deal, and through our other work, the Turnbull Government has a strong understanding of the challenges and opportunities in Townsville—and the economic objectives underpinning the investment commitments we have made,” Senator Canavan said.

“We will continue to work to maximise the benefit of our planned investment to support Townsville's growth and economic development.”

Federal Minister for Urban Infrastructure and Cities Paul Fletcher said it was essential that governments identify a pipeline of potential projects for investment—and do the legwork to ensure they stack-up.

“The Turnbull Government received a copy of the full business case for the Port Channel Widening from the Queensland Government yesterday evening,” Mr Fletcher said.

“We will now consider closely what we have received, including the opportunity for long term concessional financing from NAIF.”

For more information on the Townsville City Deal visit https://cities.infrastructure.gov.au/townsville-city-deal.