The Government will fund a business case for the extension of the Inland Rail line from Toowoomba to the Port of Gladstone.
Up to $10 million will be provided to investigate the viability of the additional connection, which could create new and significant opportunities for the freight industry and the people and businesses of regional Queensland and beyond.
Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Minister Barnaby Joyce said extending Inland Rail from Toowoomba could deliver better rail connectivity to the Port of Gladstone and expand access to import and export markets for Australian businesses and industry.
“Inland Rail is transforming regional Australia, driving jobs growth and creating new economic opportunities for communities along the line and our exporting industries,” Joyce said.
“Extending the line to Gladstone would ensure the benefits of this nation-building piece of infrastructure are felt farther and wider, creating more jobs during construction, supporting existing jobs in the region, and better connecting our resources industries and agricultural producers to another major export gateway.
“The connection to Gladstone would be in addition to our existing commitment to take Inland Rail to Brisbane.”
Federal Member for Flynn Ken O’Dowd said enhancing Australia’s freight network is vital to improving productivity and supporting economic growth well into the future.
“Inland Rail is already creating jobs, transforming our regions and stimulating new revenue and growth opportunities for businesses in every state and territory across Australia,” he said.
“Mr Joyce and I have consistently advocated for the extension of Inland Rail to Gladstone and this business case ensures that the idea is thoroughly tested.”