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Inland Rail Progress Creates Confidence in Regional Australia

Deputy Mayor of Moree Plains Shire Council and Deputy Chair of the Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail Alliance (MBIRA), Councillor Sue Price said today that she welcomed the visit of Mr Barnaby Joyce MP (Deputy Prime Minister and Federal Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources), Mr Darren Chester MP (Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport) and Mr Mark Coulton MP (Nationals Member for Parkes) to Western New South Wales and the sentiments expressed by the Coalition in relation to the Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail project.

Cr Price stated, “I couldn’t agree more with the Deputy PM when he says the project will create a ‘corridor of commerce’ with the project opening up endless opportunities for Australia’s key agricultural areas whilst also creating up to 16,000 jobs during construction and 700 jobs when in operation.

“By connecting south east Queensland by rail to Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth, we not only reduce the freight distance between Melbourne and Brisbane by 200 kilometres and between Brisbane and Perth by 500 kilometres, we establish a corridor of opportunity and bring wealth west,” Cr Price said.

Cr Price said the Coalition’s additional commitment of $594 million to the project in the 2016-17 Budget had provided confidence to local producers that they would play a role in supplying a growing demand for Australian domestic product in Asia.

“Inland Rail is vital to addressing the increasing freight task being experienced in eastern Australia and locally grown cotton, grain, wool, beef and lamb are just a few examples of the types of product which will travel by rail rather than road to ports in Melbourne and Brisbane as well as New South Wales ports,” Cr Price went onto say.

“The project will remove around 200,000 trucks off our road network by providing a cost-effective alternative to road transport that is 98 per cent reliable whilst reducing the travelling time of inter-capital freight between Brisbane and Melbourne to less than 24 hours.

This project will support the eight million tonnes of additional freight expected to be travelling between Melbourne and Brisbane by 2050, delivering almost $22.5 billion of direct and indirect benefits to Australia,” Cr Price stated.

In conclusion, Cr Price commented, “The Coalition’s investment in this truly transformational project will open up the freight corridor and boost productivity for decades.”

Background The MBIRA is an alliance of councils located on or adjacent to the Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail route.

The purpose of the Alliance is to advocate current and future Australian, New South Wales, Queensland and Victorian Governments to commit to build the Inland Rail, to future-standards, sufficient to develop efficient national supply chains, a robust national economy drive and economic development for the regions along the line.