Federal Member for Flynn Colin Boyce has slammed a motion at last week’s Australian Local Government Association national assembly which hosted about a thousand mayors and councillors from across the country.
The motion was proposed by the Wagga City Council calling on more community consultation about the impact of the multibillion-dollar Inland Rail project.
Mr Boyce called on the Federal Government to not halt the project with further consultation and studies and build the Inland Rail to Gladstone as soon as possible.
“It has been reported the motion received unanimous support. I am disappointed that there was no leadership by the Gladstone Regional Council Mayor who also happens to be Vice President of the Australian Local Government Association advocating for the multibillion-dollar project,” Mr Boyce said.
“It is critical that work starts on the Inland Rail to Gladstone as soon as possible but it seems the Gladstone Regional Council Mayor is happy for the project to have further consultation which will ultimately delay the project.”
Mr Boyce said the Inland Rail Project has been analysed to death including extensive community consultation.
“The numerous studies that have been undertaken on the Inland Rail project has shown that it will transform how goods are moved around Australia, generating opportunities for the regions and the economy including in the Flynn electorate, now and well into the future,” Mr Boyce said.
“Modelling from the CSIRO shows that Inland Rail has the potential to reduce national freight transport costs by close to $213 million each year across 22 million tonnes of freight. This will result in significant savings for businesses and industries that use the line and further drive the growth of regional Australia.
“The potential cost reductions cover more than 12,000 supply chains and 94 commodities, including coal, steel, grains, vehicles, horticulture and livestock.
“The largest potential cost reductions are amongst road-based supply chains that switch to Inland Rail. On average, road-based supply chains can save $80.77 per tonne when they switch to Inland Rail.
“The modelling projects a 40 per cent reduction in transport costs for freight travelling to Queensland, a 31 per cent drop.
“While the Mayor of Gladstone Regional Council is happy for more delays, I say let’s build the Inland Rail to Gladstone as soon as possible.”