Miners first to give evidence in port connectivity inquiry

<p>The parliamentary inquiry into the integration of regional rail and road links and their port connectivity has started public hearings in Gladstone today (Thursday, June 9).</p> <p>Mining firms Xstrata Coal and Rio Tinto will be the first to present evidence to the House of Representatives Transport and Regional Services Committee inquiry.</p> <p>Committee chairman Paul Neville said the inquiry would examine how the rail and road networks were handling Australia’s growing freight task.</p> <p>How the networks connected with ports would be an important part of the inquiry, Mr Neville said.</p> <p>The committee would look for ways to achieve greater efficiency in the freight transport task and how governments could cooperate to achieve this efficiency, he said.</p> <p>"There has been a strong interest in the inquiry with over 80 submissions received so far and a number of public hearings will be conducted at transport centres around Australia," Mr Neville said.</p> <p>The committee is due to table its report early next year.</p> <br />