Melbourne to Brisbane Rail Alliance welcomes key action priorities for Inland Rail

Federal Minister for Regional Development, The Hon. Dr John McVeigh, and Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail Alliance Chair Cr Sue Price.

Federal Minister for Regional Development, The Hon. Dr John McVeigh, and Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail Alliance Chair Cr Sue Price.

The Melbourne to Brisbane Rail Alliance (MBIRA) has congratulated the Australian Logistics Council and Australian Railway Association on the success of the inaugural Inland Rail Conference held in Parkes.

Chair of MBIRA, Cr Sue Price of Moree Plains has commended their efforts in delivering the first industry-led conference aimed at identifying the opportunities and challenges associated with this nation-building project.

“It is tremendous to bring together the nation’s key industry leaders and all levels of government to work cooperatively to deliver this once-in-a-generation project,” she said.

“We recognise that there is still much work to be done around capability, capacity, safety and economics, and we welcome the nine priorities that have emerged from the conference.”

Among the key action priorities to emerge were:

  • Ensuring that the Melbourne-Brisbane transit time of under 24 hours is adhered to – an absence of reliability and certainty will undermine market confidence
  • Securing the cooperation and active involvement of the Victorian, NSW and Queensland state governments to construct the project
  • Dealing with the ‘last mile’ issues by getting the planning and construction of links to the Port of Brisbane and the Port of Melbourne, as well as ensuring efficient rail linkages to key ports in NSW
  • Using the multi-jurisdictional nature of the project to drive harmonisation of planning, environmental, freight data and industry training standards. National consistency in these areas will have benefits lasting well beyond the Inland Rail’s construction period
  • Ensuring we equip the current and emerging workforce with skills needed to construct, maintain and operate the Inland Rail. This is imperative given Australia’s ‘infrastructure boom’ and ageing workforce
  • Proactively engaging with local communities through local councils, schools and other relevant bodies to ensure they appreciate and can take advantage of the opportunities Inland Rail presents
  • Partnering with the private sector to drive innovation in how the project is delivered and push further direct and indirect investment along the route
  • Demonstrating the absolute necessity of the Inland Rail project by highlighting negative consequences for Australia’s supply chain efficiency, traffic congestion, passenger rail services and road safety without vastly improved freight rail infrastructure
  • Putting data gathering frameworks in place that will enhance freight visibility and demonstrate the viability of Inland Rail as the right mode for particular commodities.

“Since 2007, MBIRA has been working hard to attract strategic investment in Australia’s infrastructure future,” Cr Price said.

“These priorities will ensure industry, government and all those associated with this project address the challenges, but also capitalise on economic development opportunities.”

For more information about the Inland Rail project, visit www.inlandrail.com.au