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The federal government’s $44 million Inland Rail Interface Improvement Program has seen two private proposals make it through the first round.
All up, 16 proposals were assessed as eligible under the program and have proceeded through to the next stage of the ‘gateway assessment process’.
The others are from local governments or groupings of them, with one from Transport for New South Wales.
Intermodal operator SCT Logistics has two proposals in the running to develop the:
Comment has been sought fom SCT.
The InterlinkSQ/Seaway partnership sees initial support to develop the South West Intermodal Project. The proposal has the potential to provide a cost-effective and efficient service offering through the facilitation of a "hub and spoke" logistics network. This would include the construction of a new rail siding and a primary regional aggregation and distribution centre (hub) in Toowoomba, Queensland.
"We are delighted that the Federal Government has identified the South West Intermodal Project to progress to the next phase of the Inland rail interface improvement program," InterLinkSQ general manager Blair Batts says.
"InterLinkSQ will be the connector between the Western Queensland regional rail network and the Inland Rail, effectively extending the reach of Inland Rail over 700 kilometres into Western Queensland.
"The Inland Rail is not just about domestic freight or connecting the Port of Melbourne to the Port of Brisbane.
"For regional Queensland connection to the Inland Rail is an imperative for the growth of our regional economies.
"More efficient and cost-effective pathways to and from markets will reduce the cost of doing business in regional Queensland.
"This will make it more viable to establish businesses in our regions in industries like manufacturing and processing. This means new jobs and real growth."
InterLinkSQ is the Toowoomba intermodal terminal operated by Melbourne-headquartered shipping and logistics firm Seaway, which revealed it bought Wakefield Transport Group and Iron Horse Intermodal last September.
"The South West Intermodal Project backs our objective to create competition between road and rail in South West Queensland, lowering costs for producers and allowing towns in regional Queensland to take advantage of the opportunities that the Inland Rail project can provide," Seaway COO Paul Szumowski states.
The next round of expressions of interest is expected to open mid-year.
"Sixteen projects were found eligible in this first round of applications, and those groups are now working with the EY-led consortium to develop pre-feasibility studies, feasibility studies and strategic business cases," federal infrastructure minister Michael McCormack says.
"An intermodal facility at Mangalore, expanded freight infrastructure in the Riverina, road upgrades for a rail spur in Croppa Creek, and rail upgrades between Kurumbul to Thallon are just some of big connectivity ideas that we are supporting through the Interface Improvement Program."
This article first appeared on www.fullyloaded.com.au
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