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DEPUTY Prime Minister and Minister for transport Michael McCormack said the bilateral agreement between the Australian and Queensland governments would ensure Queensland’s future growth is supported by a robust freight rail network.

“The bilateral agreement signed today is backed by the federal government’s $9.3bn commitment to deliver Inland Rail and is part of the broader $25bn commitment we’ve made to road and rail projects across Queensland,” Mr McCormack said.

He said that Inland Rail will lead to more than 7,000 jobs and provide a $7bn boost to Queensland’s economy.

“For every dollar we are investing in Inland Rail, $2.62 will be returned to the national economy,” Mr McCormack said.

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“Modelling by the CSIRO shows an average saving of $76 per tonne for horticulture and post-processed food when shifted onto the double-stacked trains. The data is clear – Inland Rail is a game-changer for regional Australia.”

Queensland Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said that the agreement reached with the Australian Government cements protections for Queenslanders and would see close to $2bn in joint-funding fast-tracked for road and rail projects across the state.

“The delivery of Inland Rail in Queensland is a huge win for the state, providing jobs and opportunities to communities,” Mr Bailey said.

“This deal will see us work with the federal government on business cases for passenger rail services from Salisbury to Beaudesert, Brisbane to Toowoomba and a dedicated rail freight line to the Port of Brisbane.

“This includes better understanding the expected freight demand on the line into the future and identifying opportunities for intermodal terminals at Ebenezer and Bromelton to assist in managing the freight task.”

All parties have also agreed to establish an international panel to advise on the modelling of potential flood impacts and continuing community consultation along the project’s chosen route through Queensland.

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