CHALLENGES and opportunities from the Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Railway were thrashed out at a recent conference in Parkes.
With around 400 people attending two days, the Inland Rail 2018 Conference heard from multiple perspectives.
Delegates also heard keynote presentations from political figures and associated executives.
Key action priorities to emerge were:
- Ensuring that the Melbourne-Brisbane transit time of under 24 hours is adhered to
- Securing the cooperation and active involvement of the Victorian, NSW and Queensland state governments
- 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 rail links to ports in NSW
- Using the multi-jurisdictional nature of the project to drive harmonisation of planning, environmental, freight data and industry training standards
- Ensuring the current and emerging workforce is equipped with skills needed to build, maintain and operate the Inland Rail;
- Proactively engaging with local communities through local councils, schools and other relevant bodies to ensure they could take opportunities presented by Inland Rail
- Demonstrating the necessity of Inland Rail by highlighting negative consequences for Australia’s supply chain efficiency, traffic congestion, passenger rail services and road safety without vastly improved freight rail infrastructure; and
- Putting data gathering frameworks in place to enhance freight visibility and demonstrate the viability of Inland Rail as the right mode for particular commodities.
Inland Rail is to form a central part of the National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy currently being developed by the Federal Government.
The Australian Logistics Council and the Australasian Rail Association plan to stage the next such conference in Toowoomba, Queensland, next year.