Inland rail project attracts business leaders

It was the first Enterprise Evening for the year and strongly supported, with nearly 300 guests turning out for the networking and information evening held at Toowoomba’s Middle Ridge Golf Club.

John Anderson, former Deputy Prime Minister and chair of the implementation group tasked to drive the project forward, also spoke at the event.

Mr Russell outlined the benefits of a dedicated freight rail line which included efficient market access for agricultural industries and removing almost 4000 trucks off south-east Queensland’s roads.

“The Port of Brisbane handles more than $50 billion worth of trade a year and up to 50 per cent of Port of Brisbane’s trade travels to or emanates from Toowoomba and the west,” Mr Smith said.

“Current rail constraints mean almost all forward container freight growth will move by road. It means south-east Queensland must develop a long term freight logistics system to match this world class port.

“Infrastructure is critical to stimulating economic growth and productivity. Inland rail is a reality if we are smart on how we do it and we hit the ground running,” he said.

TSBE chief executive officer Shane Charles said he was enormously grateful both Mr Smith and Mr Anderson travelled to Toowoomba, to update community members and potential stakeholders on the importance of getting the Project off the ground.

“Inland Rail is a must for Toowoomba and the region. With freight volumes set to double by 2020 and triple by 2050, an enhanced and complementary rail transport system is a must. It was a major coup for Toowoomba to host both Mr Smith and Mr Anderson, who together demonstrated the immense importance of the project becoming a reality,” Mr Charles said.

“Our first Enterprise Evening of the year was a cracking start to 2014 for the TSBE team with such a strong showing of support from members as well as other community members. We look forward to many more throughout the year.”

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