The prospect of the Inland Rail is becoming a lot clearer following a round of stakeholder meetings with ARTC at North Star and also at Goondiwindi, Yelarbon and Inglewood now setting future direction.
Goondiwindi Mayor Cr Graeme Scheu says it is time to start the drill down.
“Obviously, we don’t require the Inland Rail running thorough the centre of towns if avoidable but we do need to have the entry point to Queensland as close as practical to Goondiwindi where intermodal hubs on the eastern side of town can be established.”
Mayor Scheu says severance of Rural properties is a major concern and where possible, we are lobbying ARTC to use State owned land or existing corridor.
“The route from Melbourne to Narrabri had been finalised and the route from Narrabri to North Star is all but decided.”
“It also appears that utilising the existing corridor from North Star to the Border has received strong support and may be revived bringing the line that much closer to Goondiwindi.” Mayor Scheu said.
The original plan from 2001 was to incorporate the Boggabilla Lane, but there needs to be a lot more assessment done before any decision is made on any final entry point to Queensland.
“Regardless of exactly where it joins the existing corridor on the Queensland side, we must lobby strongly for the inclusion of a short haul above rail provider to take containers and grain on the existing South West Line”
“A short haul opportunity utilising a feed in structure to the mainline is a no brainer for this region and none of it will be wasted” Cr Scheu believes.
“When we do get the Inland Rail, we will already have the ideal hub and spoke network in place to capitalise on this exciting project.”