Queensland state development minister Anthony Lynham has said the Calvert to Kagaru section of the Inland Rail project could create as many as 1600 jobs during construction, after the section was declared a coordinated project by the state’s coordinator-general.
The third Queensland stage of the Melbourne to Brisbane project was declared by the coordinator general on June 16. Lynham said the $1.2 billion section covering 53 kilometres from Calvert to Kagaru would now require an environmental impact statement to be prepared.
“This section could create up to 1600 jobs during its four-year construction phase starting in 2020 and 700 jobs during operation for the entire program,” Lynham said.
The Calvert to Kagaru section consists of a new single-track dual-gauge line, including approximately 1.1 kilometres of tunnels through the Teviot Range at Woolooman.
Lynham noted the stage was one of five Inland Rail stages in Queensland, and one of 13 across the whole route.
“This project could be a real boon to Queensland industry, for both growers and manufacturers,” he said. “However, this section will require rigorous planning and engineering to address the potential impacts on the rural community and small farms including minimising flooding impacts on properties along the alignment.”
Federal infrastructure minister Darren Chester said the announcement was an important step in seeing the Inland Rail built.
“Over the next few weeks there will be information on the environmental impact assessment process and opportunities for the community to have their say on the Calvert to Kagaru project,” the minister outlined.
“Calvert to Kagaru is the third section of Inland Rail in Queensland to be declared a coordinated project, following earlier declarations for the Gowrie to Helidon and Helidon to Calvert sections.
“Around 60 per cent of [Inland Rail] construction expenditure is expected in Queensland, while economic modelling forecasts that Inland Rail will boost Queensland’s Gross State Product by $7.3 billion.”