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Inland rail a trifecta for Toowoomba region: mayor
The federal government has nominated two sections of the potential route of the Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail project.
The two ‘Coordinated Projects’ are: Gowrie to Helidon and Helidon to Calvert in Queensland.
With the second leg of the market testing process close to being finalised, the government says it is "moving ahead with formal assessment and approvals processes to ensure the next stages of the project is ready to roll out".
Transport and infrastructure minister Darren Chester says this is "critical" step in the planning and assessment stage.
"Shortly, the Queensland Office of the Coordinator will release a draft Terms of Reference which will be open for public comment," Chester says.
"This is another good opportunity for the community to have their say on the Inland Rail project."
The Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) will soon begin preparing Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) reports on the two sections.
The Rail, Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) has been critical of the slow progress of the project.
However, reiterating the significance of the project, Chester says he hopes construction will begin soon.
"After the market testing has concluded, I'm keen to see construction commence sooner rather than later: "We believe in the future of regional Australia, and the Melbourne to Brisbane inland rail project to deliver benefits today and in 100 years from now.
"The Inland Rail project will deliver a high performance and direct interstate rail corridor between Melbourne and Brisbane, enabling freight operators to avoid the congested Sydney network and deliver goods to market quickly."
More information on the market testing process is available here.
This article first appeared on www.fullyloaded.com.au
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