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Inland Rail $3 billion boost to regional QLD

Posted on 17 March 2020

Source:  Courier Mail

The inland rail's economic boost to regional Queensland could top $3 billion over its first 50 years and create thousands of extra jobs nationally, according to a new report.

The report by Ernst & Young looked at potential business investment that could spring up along the planned 1700km freight line, which will link ports in Brisbane and Melbourne.

It found the railway could generate up to $13.3 billion of extra gross regional product across Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria during its first five decades of operation.

Deputy Prime Minister, Infrastructure and Regional Development Minister Michael McCormack said the report showed the potential for expanded business investment once the project was completed would be a "massive boost" for regional Australia.

"These investments could support an additional 14,000-16,000 job-years in its first decade of operation that's 1,600 people working full time for 10 years thanks to inland rail," he said.

"With inland rail, our regional communities are primed to take advantage of the manufacturing, packing facilities, meat processing plants, regional airports and distribution centres that will establish and expand around the rail line."

The study, commissioned by the Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications Department, looked at local government areas within 100km of the proposed route through Queensland from Brisbane to Goondiwindi.

Potential business opportunities identified in Queensland included new grain storage facilities, expanded logistics and cotton handling hubs, food processing and mining support.

It found the total boost to Queensland's gross regional product would be up to $3.1 billion over the first 50 years of operation.

Nearly 600 full-time jobs were estimated to be created in Queensland during the first decade of operating, primarily driven by potential supply chain efficiencies.