Construction under way
THE first step towards the long-awaited Central Queensland Inland Port project at Yamala began this week with crews ready to begin road upgrades.
Central Highlands Regional Council Mayor Kerry Hayes said it is a step forward for the region.
"Works to widen and seal Bonnie Doon Rd will start from the CQ Inland Port entrance and continue towards the intersection with the Capricorn Highway,” he said.
"There will be changed traffic conditions and traffic control on Bonnie Doon Rd until the end of January.
"While works will not affect the Capricorn Highway at this stage, I urge drivers to be aware of an increased number of trucks turning in and out of Bonnie Doon Rd.”
CQ Inland Port managing director Alan Stent-Smith said the start of construction of the first stage of supporting infrastructure was "exciting news”.
"The actual construction of the internal road we are building will start this week and weather permitting will run through to February,” he said.
"The rail link is being project managed by GrainCorp. They propose to start next month and that will run through to June.
"This initial infrastructure phase should all be wrapped up by June, weather permitting.
"We have had a few delays in the last six months with final approvals and engineering but it's all go now.”
According to Mr Stent-Smith, this is "most definitely a step forward”.
"It's been a long time in the engineering phase and now we have got bipartisan support within all levels of government,” he said.
"It's a project of significance and will change the way everyone does business in Central Queensland.
"Freight is something that affects everyone who either produces or consumes in the local area.
"We pay freight for goods inward and for everything we produce in the region, so if we can put a competitive option in there by way of road rail to our exporting and importing ports on the east coast, it will be beneficial both in terms of cost saving and efficiency for all businesses and people.''