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ONE of North Queensland’s most important rail corridors will benefit from an influx of funding under a re-elected Labor government.
A Palaszczuk government would deliver another $50 million to help repair and maintain the troubled Townsville to Mount Isa line.
It would take its investment in the line to $380 million over the next five years.
Labor also announced yesterday it would make the proposed underwater museum for Townsville a reality, committing $2 million to the project predicted to be a major tourism drawcard.
Tourism Minister Kate Jones said the Palaszczuk Government’s funding commitment would be added to the $700,000 already promised by local businesses.
Labor’s rail funding would go towards rail replacement, re-sleepering, bridge upgrades, ballast replacements, new and enhanced passing loops and track upgrades and maintenance.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the rail line would play a part in developing the North West Queensland mining corridor.
“My government has identified the North West Minerals Province as key region for exploration and development in Queensland’s resources sector,” Ms Palaszczuk said. The poor state of the Mount Isa to Townsville line has led to fears that traffic could be sent on a new link to Darwin for export, costing the North up to 900 jobs.
Labor said it would also move forward with the proposed Townsville Eastern Access Rail Corridor (TEARC).
A re-elected Palaszczuk Government would move immediately to preserve the corridor required for the project which would see the line from Mount Isa connected to the Port of Townsville.
Building Queensland is developing the business case for the TEARC.
Upon completion, that business case will immediately be assessed by a re-elected Palaszczuk Government.
This article first appeared on www.townsvillebulletin.com.au
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