DEPUTY Prime Minister Michael McCormack has pledged to protect the nation’s freight corridors from urban encroachment.

Speaking at the Australian Logistics Council’s Forum 2019 in Melbourne, Mr McCormack discussed the National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy and also talked of the big projects transforming the country including inland rail and the Western Sydney Airport.

“Given that we are shaping the future of all Australians, it is important that we get it right,” Mr McCormack said.

“Amongst the priorities must be the protection of freight corridors and precincts from urban encroachment and/or incompatible developments, that’s critical.

“We all know that. Governments of all political persuasions are always pressured by people who may just move into an area, who may… then build a house and wonder about planes going overhead or have a farm, have it broken up into several blocks and then wonder why the freight train wants to have a line there.

“We need to protect those freight corridors at all cost.”

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He said the government “had the runs on the board” leading into the next federal election, particularly with the turning of the first sod on the inland rail project.

Responding to criticism by Labor’s Anthony Albanese about the lack of connectivity between Acacia Ridge and the Port of Brisbane, Mr McCormack said the government would work with the Queensland government to make inland rail operate effectively.

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