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The Australian Government has approved a feasibility study of Goondiwindi Regional Council's proposal to upgrade the current South Western rail line from Kurumbul to Thallon.
Ernst and Young will work with Council in the coming weeks to develop its project proposal and to conduct the feasibility study as part of the Inland Rail Interface Improvement Program (II Program).
The study will be at no cost to Council and will assess and fully cost the proposed upgrades to existing infrastructure in order to accommodate heavier trains and rolling stock.
The Australian Government's approval of the study is no guarantee of further approval or funding to deliver the project.
However, outgoing GRC Mayor, Cr Graeme Scheu is hopeful about its success.
"This study will develop our proposal, it's nothing concrete just yet, but without this step we cannot take the next one or go any further with this proposal.
"Obviously the access to the Inland Rail corridor would be hugely beneficial to the farmers and producers in our region and Council has been very supportive of the potential to increase rail freight from farms to port," Cr Scheu said.
Cr Scheu and incoming GRC Mayor, Lawrence Springborg, toured the proposed route on Monday to "ensure the new Council fully appreciates the opportunity this proposal presents to the region".
The Australian Government's Inland Rail Interface Improvement Program aims to maximise the long-term benefit of Inland Rail's connections to the national freight rail network and improve the rail-based supply chains on key country rail lines.
"This has come right at the end of my time at Goondiwindi Regional Council, but I know that Council will continue to lobby all levels of Government on the current Inland Rail proposal and the potential flooding issues for our region," Cr Scheu said.
This article first appeared on www.goondiwindiargus.com.au
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