Friday 25th Sep, 2020

Logistics council pushes for Inland Rail focus over HSR

Chinese high speed train. Photo: Bombardier
Photo: Bombardier

Australian Logistics Council managing director Michael Kilgariff says the second phase of market testing for private sector involvement in Inland Rail is a key milestone for the project, and says the latest push for a High Speed Rail project should not overshadow development of the inland line.

Market testing, which is taking place in late January and early February, is aimed at gauging the possibilities the private sector can present to the development Brisbane to Melbourne inland rail route, which would bypass the Sydney network – a bottleneck.

Kilgariff, speaking shortly after the market testing was announced in late December, said Inland Rail would be critical to improving the efficient movement of freight within Australia.

“Private sector involvement in the delivery of Inland Rail will be critical to progress this nationally significant infrastructure project,” the ALC boss said.

“ALC’s 2017-2018 budget submission encourages the government to commit to funding for construction to allow industry to plan for when operations commence.”

Kilgariff said further government support would be essential to making the proposed 1700-kilometre rail link a reality.

Inland Rail has been identified by Infrastructure Australia as a Priority Project, and has noted long term benefits would be spread to users of the line, users of alternative infrastructure, and the wider economy.

“This underscores why investment in economically significant projects, such as Inland Rail, should be preferred to other more speculative projects such as High Speed Rail, for which the net public benefit to the Australian economy is far less established.”

The ALC is campaigning for the Inland Rail to have good connections to local freight hubs.

“To maximise its effectiveness, the Inland Rail route must have end-to-end connectivity and include efficient linkages to key freight hubs and intermodal terminals,” Kilgariff concluded.


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