Up to $ 10 million will be spent to plan the extension of the Federal Government’s Inland Railroad project in Queensland.
A business case will be developed to extend the project 646 kilometers from Toowoomba to the Port of Gladstone.
Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce said it would make it easier for Australian companies to access import and export markets.
“The Inland Rail will improve the savings at the ends of the Brisbane and Melbourne books,” he told the National Press Club on Friday.
He said a key benefit would be to generate more white-collar jobs such as engineering and planning in regional centers.
Inland Rail is the largest transportation project in the government’s $ 110 billion infrastructure plan.
It is intended to extend over 1,700 km, connecting Melbourne and Brisbane via Victoria, NSW and Queensland.
Labor Transportation spokeswoman Catherine King said the decision reflected a recommendation from a recent Senate investigative report.
“Today’s announcement marks the first time the government has recognized any of the report’s 26 recommendations, and it comes after considerable advocacy from Labor senators and candidates, local councils and the larger community. off Gladstone, ”she said.
“Incredibly, the Morrison-Joyce government still does not have a plan where Inland Rail will start, where it will end, the route it will take or how it will interact with existing stations up and down the country. “
She said there was also a need for better cost planning.
Mr Joyce also announced that the government will move the North Queensland Water Infrastructure Authority from Canberra to Bowen in North Queensland.
He will locate the authority near the proposed Urannah Dam.
“North Queensland is also where we will begin the long-term nation-building task of expanding irrigated agriculture by moving some of the abundant water resource west,” said Mr. Joyce.
Associated Australian Press