The first step to investigating direct 24/7 access of the Inland Rail line to the Port of Brisbane has been confirmed through the signing of a Deed of Cooperation, the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) and Port of Brisbane Pty Limited (Port of Brisbane) confirmed today.
The Australian Government has tasked ARTC, under the guidance of the Inland Rail Implementation Group, to develop a plan for constructing Inland Rail over a staged, 10-year period, including detailed consideration of the most appropriate dedicated rail freight link from the interstate line to the Port of Brisbane.
The Deed of Cooperation gives ARTC access to Port of Brisbane?s pre-feasibility study which investigated a dedicated freight rail corridor from the west of Toowoomba Ranges to the port.
The Deed sets out the relationship between ARTC and the Port of Brisbane with a view to progressing development works related to the freight corridor and Inland Rail that ultimately benefit both parties.
“This information will provide a vital building block to future planning of the Inland Rail programme, and in particular the Australian Government?s commitment to investigate a 24/7 rail link to the Port of Brisbane,” ARTC CEO John Fullerton said.
“When completed, Inland Rail will be the „backbone? for the national interstate freight network, providing a direct rail connection between the Queensland, NSW, Victorian, South Australia and Western Australia economies.
“Key to the programme?s success will be linkages to regional and metropolitan ports, opening up businesses to new and existing domestic and export markets – and that?s why this Deed of Cooperation is so important,” Mr Fullerton said.
Port of Brisbane CEO Russell Smith said the Deed of Cooperation represented significant progress in investigating a dedicated freight rail corridor to the port.
“Dedicated freight rail access to the Port of Brisbane is a critical part of future-proofing Queensland and New South Wales? economic growth by expanding export capacity and reducing the logistics chain costs for our key east coast export industries, particularly agriculture,” Mr Smith said.
The Australian Government has committed $300 million to finalise planning, engineering design, environmental assessments and to start construction of the Inland Rail programme.