Inland rail for region lands way down list

A GROUP that helps the Federal Government decide which projects to prioritise has listed an important piece infrastructure for the Toowoomba region right down the list.  

An Infrastructure Australia report launched by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull prioritised Brisbane projects like the Cross River Rail but left the Brisbane to Melbourne inland rail project languishing in the "longer term" category.  

The chief executive officer of what will be the region's major rail freight hub criticised the listing saying inland rail should be one of the nation's highest priorities.  

Michelle Reynolds, of Interlink SQ, said inland rail was a a crucial piece of infrastructure for the supply chain.  

She noted an Australian Logistics Council report which stated a 1% improvement in the logistics supply chain would boost the national GDP by $2 billion.  

Should the inland rail project be given a high priority?

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"That's why supply chain efficiency is crucial, for our country let alone our region," she said.  

"Rail has to play a part in that and inland rail is the missing piece of the puzzle in terms of the nation's exports."  

Ms Reynolds said Australia was competing with countries that had efficient supply chains.  

"Rail has a growing market share almost everywhere else in the world."  

The key projects in the report revolve around Brisbane, but Ms Reynolds said inland rail would help that city too.   "We're not saying rail versus road," she said.  

"It's the right mode for the load."  

Topics:  inland rail project interlink sq toowoomba

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