AusRAIL, Market Sectors

Private sector crucial to Brisbane-Melbourne rail link, says Vaile

<p>Federal transport minister Mark Vaile used the Nationals Federal Conference 2006 on Saturday (October 14) to emphasise the need for private sector investment in the proposed Brisbane-Melbourne rail link via Parkes. </p> <p>Mr Vaile said planning for the inland railway should be included in the next stage of the government’s AusLink infrastructure strategy.</p> <p>&#8220An inland railway would increase rail’s share of the freight between Melbourne and Brisbane from 30% now to about 73%,&#8221 he said. </p> <p>&#8220It would also draw in freight from regional New South Wales, such as grain, chilled meat and cotton.</p> <p>&#8220The new railway will cost up to $3.6bn, but every doubled-stacked freight train will replace up to 276 semi-trailers on our highways.</p> <p>&#8220We will argue within the Government that Australia needs an inland railway. </p> <p>&#8220The next step is for the Government to get formal advice on the future investment options for the corridor.</p> <p>&#8220The private sector must be involved.&#8221</p> <p>This part of Mr Vaile’s speech mirrored one from the private sector by Toll chief executive Paul Little last month.</p> <p>&#8220We would certainly welcome a high-speed Brisbane-to-Melbourne link but the trouble is that it has a $4bn price tag and we need to have the Federal Government paying for at least half," Mr Little said. </p> <br />