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A plan to link Toowoomba with Gladstone by way of a $3.4 billion inland rail line through the Surat Basin would be better served by bringing it to Gympie first, Wide Bay mayors have said.
Bundaberg Mayor Jack Dempsey wants governments to take a close look at hooking the line up near the Gympie North Station as part of their investigations into the project.
The Federal Government has committed $10 million to exploring the feasibility of extending the line from Toowoomba to south of the Great Barrier Reef.
Mr Dempsey said the extension was a good idea but the plan “might be on the wrong track”.
Taking the line through Gympie would open access to three ports instead of just one.
Bundaberg Mayor Jack Dempsey said bringing the Inland Rail line through the Wide Bay would connect it to three ports instead of one.
“This option would avoid the need for 215km of new track from the Surat Basin to Gladstone, while enabling the Port of Bundaberg to service the emerging Wide Bay Minerals Province,” Mr Dempsey said.
“The future prosperity of the Wide Bay Burnett depends on transport and logistics infrastructure that can link the region’s geographically dispersed agricultural and commodity bases with consumer markets.”
He said he did not want Bundaberg to become a coal port but “the broader mining sector is expected to significantly drive trade opportunities across the Wide Bay Burnett over the next two decades”.
This article first appeared on www.couriermail.com.au
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