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Prime Mover Magazine

ALC backs Inland Rail amid Opposition indignation

A proposed inquiry into the Coalition Government's Inland Rail project must not sabotage the construction of the necessary project and worsen congestion for road transport businesses according to the Australian Logistics Council (ALC).

An announcement from the Federal Opposition that it would consider an independent inquiry into Inland Rail despite the bipartisan support it had generated until this point must not cause construction delays said ALC CEO Kirk Coningham.

“ALC notes that today’s announcement from the Federal Opposition reaffirms their support for Inland Rail, which is welcome," he said.

"Freight logistics operators and local communities are already making preparations for Inland Rail, and their investment decisions must be respected,” said Coningham.

“The conduct of any proposed inquiry must not be allowed to slow the pace of construction on Inland Rail, which is already underway.”

“We also note the proposed inquiry would be asked to examine possible port connections at either end of the Inland Rail route.”

“ALC has consistently emphasised that finalising a dedicated freight rail connection to the Port of Brisbane as soon as possible will be essential to ensure full benefits can be derived from the substantial public investment being made in Inland Rail.”

Coningham reiterated the ALC stance that upgrades were necessary on the current rail connection between Truganina and the Port of Melbourne.

Improvements to connections from Inland Rail to key NSW ports were also warranted including intermodal terminals.

In the event of a change of government, Coningham said the proposed inquiry should not be a reason for any delay to overall construction of the Inland Rail project.

“By 2030, we will need to move more than 32 million tonnes of freight along Australia’s east coast. We must find ways to do that which are safe, and which don’t add to road congestion and other existing bottlenecks in the freight network,” he said.

“Inland Rail is essential to achieving these goals – and will play an important role in boosting Australia’s export performance.”

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