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DEPUTY Prime Minister Michael McCormack says he has no doubt the Queensland section of the $10 billion inland rail project will be built, despite the Palaszczuk government still having to sign off on the project.
Speaking at the Rural Press Club in Brisbane, Mr McCormack said while deals had been struck with Victoria and NSW, an intergovernmental agreement was still to be reached with Queensland.
"We'll get it built and it will be game changing, it will be nation building; it already is," Mr McCormack told the post-Budget lunch.
We'll get it (inland rail) built and it will be game changing, it will be nation building; it already is.- Michael McCormack, Deputy Prime Minister
"When it is completed, people will look back and say thank goodness you did it."
However, there are growing concerns that the 1700km Melbourne to Brisbane project will slip down the federal government's infrastructure priority list, if a Labor government is voted in at the upcoming federal election.
That would effectively see the project stall at Moree.
Millmerran farmer Wes Judd, who speaks for landholders on the agriculturally important Condamine Floodplain, said there was good reason to reconsider the project.
"We're not against infrastructure, but the problem is ARTC (Australian Rail Track Corporation) and the departments do not go to the ballot box," Mr Judd said.
"We need to reassess the business case and make sure this thing stacks up because we just aren't being given all the information.
"Secondly, we need an inquiry into how the strategic planning of the project has been carried out; and understand how and why some of these decisions on routes have been made.
"If this project is just about buying steel, laying down track and creating jobs during the construction phase without having a solid business case, then we need to know."
This article first appeared on www.queenslandcountrylife.com.au
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