A City Deal will be developed by local, state and federal governments which could help build a connection for Inland Rail into the Port of Brisbane.
The development of a South East Queensland City Deal was on Monday committed to by federal urban infrastructure minister Alan Tudge, Queensland deputy premier Jackie Trad, and Brisbane mayor Graham Quirk.
State and local governments in February released a combined blueprint of ideas for the deal, and included a crucial connection for freight into the Port of Brisbane in that blueprint.
Inland Rail, the multi-billion-dollar freight project connecting Melbourne to the Brisbane area via an inland route, is under construction, but so far no solid plans are in place for the line to extend in its full capacity to the Port of Brisbane. Opposition transport spokesperson Anthony Albanese has frequently referenced the missing link as a must-build project.
The Federal Coalition didn’t reference the link specifically when Monday’s announcement was made, but with the statement of intent now signed, negotiations toward the final terms of the City Deal will take place over the next 12-18 months.
“South East Queensland is experiencing one of the highest rates of population growth in Australia,” Tudge said. “This City Deal enables the three levels of government to develop long term plans to cater for this growth.”
Trad said the SEQ City Deal was a unique opportunity.
“South East Queensland is growing rapidly and we need all governments to work together to make sure our infrastructure is fit for the future,” she said.
“This City Deal will be firmly focused on collaborating with industry and the community to improve our region’s competitiveness, enhance liveability and, most importantly, create jobs.”