This is appalling: Labor promises to hold inland rail inquiry

This is appalling: Labor promises to hold inland rail inquiry


Farm Online News
The government's proposed $10 billion east coast rail project would stop short of Port of Brisbane.

The government's proposed $10 billion east coast rail project would stop short of Port of Brisbane.

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An elected Labor government would launch an inquiry into the federal government's $10 billion Melbourne to Brisbane inland rail line.

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An elected Labor government would launch an inquiry into the federal government's $10 billion Melbourne to Brisbane inland rail line.

Labor's infrastructure spokesman Anthony Albanese says the opposition supports the project but wants to put the blowtorch on the route selection process and financing arrangements.

"This is appalling. The government has botched this from day one," he told 2GB on Tuesday.

"It is very clear the government has failed to consult properly. It's very clear that there are real issues with the route going through prime agricultural land, that the locals aren't being listened to."

Farmers across in NSW and Queensland are among those who have raised concerns about the lack of transparency associated with picking the route.

The 1700km project includes upgrades to 1100km of existing track and is mooted to start operating in 2024/25.

Mr Albanese said the government's route stopped 38km short of Brisbane port rather than extending through a major urban area at considerable extra expense in order to "bodgy up" the commercial viability of the project.

Inland rail is funded by an off budget equity injection into the Australian Rail Track Corporation, a model which requires net economic benefit to Australia.

A Shorten Labor government's inquiry would be led by an "eminent Australian" who would get access to Infrastructure Australia and other departments, including Finance and Treasury.

"We need to get it right and at the moment very clearly we are not getting it right," Mr Albanese said.

Australian Associated Press

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