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Linfox and ALC welcome Inland Rail construction

Logistics company, Linfox, and the Australian Logistics Council (ALC) have shared their support of a prominent infrastructure project set to optimise intermodal operations across the country.

Linfox said the Inland Rail infrastructure project will play a vital role in reinforcing Australia’s growing freight task as well as support communities in regional Australia.

The construction officially commenced today (13 December) with a ground-breaking ceremony attended by Linfox leaders in Parkes, New South Wales.

“Linfox welcomes the Government’s commitment to Inland Rail, which will help ensure that Australia’s growing freight task, particularly on the East Coast, is underpinned by fit for purpose infrastructure,” said Linfox Executive Chairman, Peter Fox.

“We also welcome the opportunities that Inland Rail will deliver for regional Australia, helping to enhance access to domestic and overseas markets through improved intermodal connections to our major cities and ports.

“Linfox is proud to meet our customers’ transport needs through timely, cost effective, safe and sustainable methods, be they road or rail - that’s what’s driven our recent significant investment in Queensland through the acquisition of Aurizon’s Queensland Intermodal business,” he said.

As a significant rail user, Linfox looks forward to delivering the benefits of Inland Rail to its customers.

“Our commitment to our customers is to get their product where it needs to go safely, promptly, and cost-effectively,” said Linfox CEO, Mark Mazurek.

“Inland Rail will help us and our sector meet the needs of our customers as the nation’s freight task – particularly the rail freight task – continues to grow.

“We’re excited by the opportunities that Inland Rail will present for our customers and look forward to working with them on the opportunities these nation-building investments will help unlock,” he said.

The ALC has also commented on the commencement of construction on Inland Rail, citing it as a watershed moment that will set Australia up to meet its growing national freight task more safely and efficiently.

“After decades of discussion, it is enormously positive to see the first sod turned on this vital national project today,” said ALC Interim CEO, Lachlan Benson.

“By 2030, we will need to move more than 32 million tonnes of freight along Australia’s east coast. Inland Rail will play a vital role in meeting that challenge.

“With the first trains expected to run in 2025, Inland Rail will permit 1,800 metre long double-stacked trains to carry freight on rail from Melbourne to Brisbane in less than 24 hours. This will make freight rail more attractive, while helping to reduce Australia’s carbon emissions.

“Reducing freight transit times will have significant flow-on benefits across the whole economy – not least of which will be efficiency gains for domestic and international shippers and cheaper consumer prices for Australians, whether they live in cities or the regions.

“Inland Rail is expected to boost Australia's GDP by $16 billion over the 10-year delivery period and during the first 50 years of its operation. This will create some 16,000 jobs at the peak of its construction, and around 700 ongoing jobs once operational.

“With Infrastructure Australia having positively assessed the Inland Rail project and the Federal Government having committed a total of $9.3 billion for the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) to develop and construct Inland Rail, it is especially pleasing to note that the private sector is also getting involved.

“As the success of the Inland Rail Conference hosted by ALC and the Australasian Railway Association (ARA) in Parkes this year showed, there is an enormous appetite among private companies and investors to be a part of this historic project. We expect investment opportunities to be further highlighted when ALC and the ARA host the next Inland Rail Conference in Toowoomba, currently being planned for 21-22 August 2019.

“These include investments in intermodal terminals and building workforce skills capacity, as well as the future delivery of dedicated freight rail connections from Inland Rail to key ports.

“The commencement of construction today shows we are now firmly in the delivery phase of this transformational freight infrastructure project, which will be an essential component of an effective National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy,” he said.

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