Toowoomba and Surat Basin Enterprise CEO Shane Charles will push the significant impact the Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail Project will have on Toowoomba, when he presents at the Inland Rail Symposium in Moree today.
Stakeholders will get the opportunity to provide input into decisions regarding the Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail (MBIR) route, access points along the route and appropriate technologies to be used, at the day-long event.
Mr Charles argued a rail line through Toowoomba was the preferred route, to seize on future opportunities that will arise from new infrastructure, a growing population and new export avenues.
“It would not only facilitate regional development but significantly improve freight movements, including agriculture and coal, from the Surat Basin,” Mr Charles said. “The impact of this project would be enormous. There is now seven million tonnes of coal each year that is transported on the current rail line down the Range, with agriculture sectors having difficulties getting slots on for seasonal produce. Toowoomba is clearly the preferred route and we need to all now work together to make this a reality. With connectivity comes the opportunity to create a significant trade hub that is not on the coast, therefore ‘opening up’ regional Australia.”
Chairman of Freight Terminals John Dornbusch, who are the developers of the intermodal and logistics centre InterlinkSQ just outside of Toowoomba, will also present at the Symposium today. “It is widely accepted that our nation needs to invest heavily in infrastructure in the short-term to maintain international competitiveness, to drive productivity and to guard our quality of life,” he said.
Also representing Toowoomba at the Symposium will be Toowoomba Regional Council Mayor Paul Antonio along with Councillor Carol Taylor.