After attending the Deputy Prime Minister’s release of a CSIRO report into the Inland Rail project in Brisbane today, the Queensland Farmers’ Federation (QFF) is calling for the state government to get on board, or risk leaving Queensland’s agriculture sector behind.
The CSIRO TraNSIT – Inland Rail Pilot Study Report found producers of horticultural and processed foods such as dairy and chilled meat stand to save an average of $76 per tonne by shifting agricultural freight onto the Inland Rail line.
QFF President Stuart Armitage said the Inland Rail project would provide certainty for Queensland farmers who require a safe, sustainable and efficient system for moving freight from paddock to port.
“The Inland Rail project is expected to transform the movement of agricultural freight throughout the east coast and improve the bottom line of farmers and Queensland’s agriculture sector.”
“However, Queensland is not on track to deliver for farmers as the state government is yet to sign an Intergovernmental Agreement, while the other Inland Rail states of Victoria and New South Wales made arrangements last year.”
“There is no doubt that this infrastructure project is complex, and we must get it right. We acknowledge the state and federal government’s current inquiry into the potential double-stack capacity of the railway from Acacia Ridge to the Brisbane Port as another important step in achieving this once in a lifetime freight logistics project.”
“QFF is committed to continuing to work with government and the Australian Rail Track Corporation to ensure consideration is given to the project’s potential benefits and impacts on prime agricultural land and key flood plains so the rail link realises its intended goals.”
“Constructive consultation with all stakeholders, including farmers, other industries and regional communities is key to arriving at solutions that benefit all.”