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A MAJOR Toowoomba rail business has welcomed news that the third Queensland stage of the $10.9 billion Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail Project has been declared a coordinated project.
The state's independent Coordinator-General made the declaration yesterday.
State Development Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said the $1.2 billion section covering 53km from Calvert to Kagaru would require an environmental impact statement to be prepared.
InterLinkSQ chief executive officer Michelle Reynolds welcomed the news which said paved the way for a standard gauge track from Toowoomba to Brisbane.
The declaration means the sections are entering in the planning and development stage.
Ms Reynolds said planning was under way from outside the InterLink SQ siding to the Kagaru section in the Brisbane Valley.
"That part links us to the port of Brisbane," she said.
"It's brilliant for our region and will connect our region down the port with a standard gauage line.
"It's critical we get that part going."
Michelle Reynolds, CEO InterLink SQ. Wednesday May 4 , 2016.Nev Madsen
"This section could create up to 1600 jobs during its four-year construction phase starting in 2020 and 700 jobs during operation for the entire program," Dr Lynham said.
"This section of the project consists of a new single-track dual-gauge line, including approximately 1.1km of tunnels through the Teviot Range at Woolooman."
Australian Rail Track Corporation is delivering the 10-year freight program, which will carry 50 intermodal round trips between Melbourne and Brisbane each week by 2050.
Dr Lynham said the Inland Rail Project had 13 separate projects, five in Queensland, each of which could be independently connected to the rail network.
This article first appeared on www.thechronicle.com.au
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