Labor have been sitting on the Schott report since January, and the uncertainty they have created around the project is now killing Inland Rail.
Federal Member for Groom, Garth Hamilton said the Queensland leg of Inland Rail is at grave risk.
“Inland Rail will die in Labor’s hands.”
“I again say to the Albanese Government, get on with building this important project, get the line to Toowoomba and start to see a return on our investment.
“The Albanese government has shown inaction for long enough and now the region deserves certainty and commitment on the future the project,” Mr Hamilton said.
Speaking in Parliament on Monday, Mr Hamilton emphasised that the Toowoomba Region is poised to suffer the most as a result of Labor’s failure to act.
“Failing to clearly articulate the future of Inland Rail will hurt our economy and nowhere will feel the damage of that decision more than the Toowoomba region, where we’ve been investing and preparing for Inland Rail for years.”
“We now have a private investment in our Toowoomba region lying dormant, doing nothing because of Labor’s inaction.”
“The Schott report and the government’s ridiculous support of it effectively kills off Inland Rail in Queensland,” Mr Hamilton said.
With productivity in Australia dropping at an alarming rate, and freight productivity flatlining, the need for efficient freight infrastructure is more crucial than ever.
“Productivity in this country has gone backwards faster than we’ve ever recorded, dropping six per cent in the last 12 months.”
“Our national freight task is increasing significantly, the urban freight task is set to grow by 60 percent – the government can help address the critical issue of getting more freight on rail by getting on with the Inland Rail build and pausing in Toowoomba.
“This would save the project somewhere around $9 billion while ensuring the benefits of Inland Rail are brought into Queensland.”
“This simple solution requires no new engineering or business cases; it simply makes sense.”
“Labor is killing Inland Rail, but bringing the line to Toowoomba can save it.”
Queensland Treasurer, Cameron Dick has said $5.7bn had already been cut to Queensland water projects and major reductions to inland rail had been made.
Australian Railway Association CEO, Caroline Wilkie has said Inland Rail is critically important and, “Failure to do so would see more trucks on the road and undermine the rail industry’s efforts to support a more sustainable national freight network.”