Inland rail announcement expected in Budget

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has all but confirmed his government will announce funding for an inland rail proposal from Queensland to Victoria in next week’s Federal Budget.

The Courier Mail reported when asked if there would be Budget allocation for the Melbourne to Brisbane inland rail corridor Mr Turnbull said, “It’s a very high priority, so you can join the dots.”

RACQ spokesperson Renee Smith said the Club would welcome the announcement if/when it was made.

“We’ve pushed hard for a Queensland inland rail network for years because it’ll improve connectivity for regional Queensland industries with other States and make our roads safer,” Ms Smith said.

“Getting heavy cargo off our roads through inland rail will not only make the roads safer, but it’ll also protect the infrastructure from further damage. We need to off the project off the ground as soon as possible.”

Ms Smith told RACQ Live last month more detail was needed regarding the additional link between Brisbane and Toowoomba.

“It’s fantastic the Prime Minister has essentially confirmed inland rail will get funding in the Budget but we need a full business case before we’ll know the potential benefits of extending the proposal to include a link to Brisbane,” she said.

“Construction of the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing upgrades the freight link between Brisbane and Toowoomba so, at this stage, it’s not clear that another rail line is required to the Port of Brisbane.”

The Courier Mail reported the Queensland Government was considering a proposal from the Turnbull Government which would see the State swap an existing rail corridor for new inland rail infrastructure funding.