BOYCE: ‘Build rail link Toowoomba to Gladstone'
Callide MP Colin Boyce has penned his support of an inland rail between Toowoomba and Gladstone.
Mr Boyce penned his support for the Surat Basin railway line to the Observer in a recent letter to the editor.
Recently a submission of the railway's benefits was highlighted to the Senate Standing Committee on Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport, by Regional Development Australia Central and Western Queensland RDACWQ Deputy Chair John Abbott.
The submission was made on behalf of the Central Queensland Region Organisation of Councils, RDACWQ and Gladstone Ports Corporation.
The extension of the current inland rail plan, dubbed the T2G (Toowoomba to Gladstone), would see four sections of track and have trains travel via the "gas rich" Surat Basin.
Mr Boyce has urged the government to take the 'first step' in building the rail link.
"I urge the government to take the first step in guiding Queensland towards a viable economic future by committing to the Inland Rail proposal from Toowoomba to Gladstone," Mr Boyce said.
"The inland rail options clearly show that the Port of Gladstone is a far better choice than the Port of Brisbane.
"Gladstone's location alone and the reduced freight costs from Singapore to Shanghai are enough reason to progress this as a major project.
"The Port of Gladstone has the capability to accommodate large, modern container ships, similar to Port Botany near Sydney. The removal of coal trains from Brisbane suburbs would be an added benefit."
Mr Boyce said it was crucial transport links were prioritised for the potential expansion of agriculture, mining, resource and energy sectors of Central Queensland.
"The Port of Gladstone and the Central Queensland region are being developed as a future energy production hub to the energy hungry southern states," he said.
"If the government is serious about generating wealth-creating jobs and guiding Queensland to a viable economic future, these projects need to be given priority.
"The ability to look forward and assess the needs and requirements of the future is about having a plan and then putting that plan into motion."
Mr Boyce said there were three essential ingredients to the economic success of Queensland.
"Transport, water and power," he said.
"Every journey starts with the first step. I urge the government to take that step.
"Build the missing Surat Basin railway line and start Queensland on the journey to prosperity."