ON THE RAILS: Construction of the Inland Rail will improve the transportation of agricultural goods in regional towns.
ON THE RAILS: Construction of the Inland Rail will improve the transportation of agricultural goods in regional towns. James Knowler

Agriculture sales going on the rails

TRANSPORTING agricultural goods will soon become easier with the construction of the Inland Rail.

$10 billion has been invested by the federal government to build a train line that will transport agricultural and commercial goods from Brisbane to Melbourne in 24 hours.

The construction is expected to generate an estimated 2,300 jobs in the Darling Downs region alone. The Australian Rail Track Corporation has pledged to use local suppliers and labourers in order to provide local businesses with opportunities.

Chairman of the Toowoomba and Surat Basin Enterprise (TSBE), Shane Charles, believes that the project will benefit local areas like Dalby in the long run.

"The benefits for local contractors is being able to supply for this project and it'll be an extended build period,” Mr Charles said.

"There's lots of opportunities for businesses in the region to get involved.”

The Western Downs region is said to have one of the best agricultural systems in the entire state. Dalby is currently ranked number 7 in the output of agricultural products.

Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack says that the resources Australia already has to offer will be instrumental in the construction of the rail line.

"Inland Rail is our new freight spine but importantly it uses the massive freight resources we already have in this country,” he said in a speech last week.

"Henry Parkes talked about this in the 1900s so it's been a long time coming,” Mr Charles added.

"We just want to construct it sooner rather than later so that we can link all of those producers along the network to potential new markets.”

TBSE CEO, Ali Davenport, is excited to see local businesses in the Surat Basin getting involved in the initiative.

"The Inland Rail project brings plenty of opportunity to our region and it is great to see local businesses already engaging with prospects available,” Davenport said in a statement.

"The Inland Rail project offers so many benefits for our region, not just at the project completion but through the entire lifespan of the project.”

Construction will begin for the regional towns in the next 18-20 months.


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