AusRAIL, Market Sectors

Inland Rail pioneer to take on former ally John Anderson

<p>Federal Transport minister John Anderson will face former ally Everald Compton at the next general election as a result of the deepening row over the future of the Australian inland rail expressway.</p> <p>Inland rail stalwart Mr Compton has decided to contest Mr Anderson’s seat of Gwydir as an independent and plans to use the campaign as a referendum on the future of the stalled rail project.</p> <p>Mr Anderson said his decision was the result of Mr Anderson’s reluctance to back the Melbourne-Darwin route (via Queensland and New South Wales) in the same way as the Adelaide-Darwin project.</p> <p>"It is generally acknowledged that Adelaide to Darwin will never make a profit," Mr Compton said.</p> <p>"For most of the trip, it’s just stones and Spinifex.</p> <p>"The Inland Railway travels through the most productive areas of the bush and through the most important population centres.</p> <p>"Yet somehow it does not qualify for any type of government commitment."</p> <p>Mr Compton said he would also try and reach a direct deal with the NSW and Queensland governments on public-private partnerships for the inland rail project. </p> <br />