Media Statement: Chair, Inland Rail Implementation Group
The Chair of the Inland Rail Implementation Group, the Hon John Anderson AO has welcomed the Australian Government’s budget and its continuing commitment to deliver Inland Rail.
The Australian Government has committed $300 million for pre-construction with $100 million available in 2015-16 on top of the funds already released during 2014-15.
These funds will enable the Inland Rail Implementation Group and the Australian Rail Track Corporation to continue with its work in providing the Australian Government with a delivery plan for Inland Rail, Mr Anderson said.
While additional funds will be required for further development and construction, they are not required immediately. There are sufficient funds presently available for the pre-construction work to continue, which is being ably led by the ARTC on the Government’s behalf.
The Implementation Group’s report will be ready to go to Government in mid-2015. The Implementation Group’s report will provide Government with the advice it needs to release further funds for construction in next year’s budget.
Inland Rail is a bigger project than expected. It has required significant additional work to develop the business case and delivery plan, and to ensure that it is robust.
There have also been delays in the work undertaken due to the change in government in Queensland.
The work undertaken to date has been the most detailed of any work on Inland Rail and puts the Government in a good position for the implementation of their commitment to this important piece of national infrastructure.
Inland Rail will provide a strong national rail network that will withstand the test of time. It will enhance national productivity and provide much needed reliability to rail freight services. Importantly, the service specification for Inland Rail has been developed in consultation with rail users to ensure it meets their needs.
I look forward to benefits that Inland Rail will provide to the national freight task.
Media Contact: Bas Bolyn, 0477 340 658