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Prime Minister Kevin Rudd says private investment is vital to ensure the Mount Isa to Townsville rail line in north Queensland is upgraded.
Community groups and councils from Townsville to Mount Isa have been lobbying for an upgrade of the line for several years.
Mr Rudd met the Townsville City Council, Townsville Enterprise and the Townsville Chamber of Commerce about the project yesterday.
He says funding for the proposed upgrade is being considered by Infrastructure Australia, but private resource companies need to show a commitment.
"Of course the critical question to be asked about a rail link like that is what is the proposed investment from the private recourse companies who will benefit from the line?" he said.
"I mean there's got to be something always asked here which is what is the proper contribution of the private sector and what, if any, should be the contribution by government?"
Mr Rudd says companies relying on an upgrade of the Mount Isa to Townsville rail line should be committing funds towards it.
He says while the Government is considering partial funding of an upgrade, large companies should not be let off the hook.
"Remember these private companies are making, by and large, large profits out of Australia's resources," he said.
"It's not the Government that's investing in infrastructure, it's the taxpayer and we've got to be careful custodians of the taxpayer dollar and how it is considered by Infrastructure Australia in the period ahead is still some time but I'm sure Anthony Albanese will be working this through."
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