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The “father of Inland Rail” Everald Compton has called on the Australian Rail Track Corporation to be fired from the job of building the $14.5 billion Inland Rail project.
Mr Compton first brought the idea of building the Inland Rail project to then Prime Minister John Howard in 1996 and has pushed for it ever since.
But he says ARTC’s handling of the project has been an “abject disaster” and says a new rail authority should be set up to handle the project.
In December, the Federal Government announced it was injecting up to a further $5.5 billion into ARTC to make the Inland Rail project “safer and more efficient”.
The further investment will create thousands more jobs on the project.
But Mr Compton said the way the government was selling the cost blowout was “absolute crap”.
“They overspent their original budget which was too high anyway, they overspent it and they’ve made an excuse,” he said.
Mr Compton said the rail line should go to the port of Gladstone rather than Brisbane, and that Toowoomba should be come the freight hub for south east Queensland.
The line as it is currently designed terminates at Acacia Ridge, with existing single stack rail line and road to connect to the Port of Brisbane.
This article first appeared on www.thechronicle.com.au
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