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THE Labor funding train has pulled into Herbert, with Opposition Leader Bill Shorten announcing a carriage of money for the Mount Isa to Townsville Rail Corridor if the party wins government.
Nearly 1000km long, the Mount Isa to Townsville rail line transports millions of tonnes of freight to and from the Townsville Port.
But civic leaders have said the future of Townsville’s economy is at “significant risk” if action isn’t taken to fix the complex operating and ageing infrastructure issues of the rail line.
Mr Shorten, who will be on the ground in Townsville today, has announced Labor will invest $100 million to upgrade the Mount Isa to Townsville rail line.
“There will be future demand on the line and we need to be investing in our future in North Queensland now,” he said.
Cathy O'Toole, Member for Herbert. Picture: Shae Beplate.“Labor will deliver strategic upgrades to the Great Northern Railway and support the ongoing exploration and development of the North West Minerals Province, providing economic opportunities for many decades to come.
“Labor’s focus on the western section of the line, including funding towards the upgrades, would improve the line’s capacity and better protect it from severe weather events like floods.”
Herbert MP Cathy O’Toole said the rail line was the “life blood” of the west to the Townsville coast.
“It is the essential corridor for industry,” she said.
Robbie Katter MP for Mt Isa talks about the urgent need for upgrade to rail system between Townsville and the Isa.Traeger MP Robbie Katter has previously said it was undeniable there were “threats looming” from the proposed Mount Isa to Tennant Creek rail link.
Expected to cost between $2 billion and $3 billion, the project would expand the rail line from Mount Isa to Tennant Creek, joining it to an existing rail line headed to the Darwin Port.
This article first appeared on www.townsvillebulletin.com.au
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