TIME TO CONNECT: Gladstone Ports Corporation, which started a fortnightly container service last year, says extending the inland rail would create further trade opportunities for the region.
TIME TO CONNECT: Gladstone Ports Corporation, which started a fortnightly container service last year, says extending the inland rail would create further trade opportunities for the region.

GPC advocates for extending inland rail to the Port City

DUBBED a "once-in-a-generation" project for the region, Gladstone Ports Corporation is continuing to push for the $8.4billion inland rail to be extended to the Port City.

The company reiterated its desire for the Melbourne to Brisbane freight rail link to be connected to Gladstone this week, saying it would deliver economic development and trade opportunities.

It comes after Flynn MP Ken O'Dowd told The Observer the results of a $250,000 feasibility study into extending the rail link from Brisbane to Gladstone were "disappointing".

The feasibility study was one of his key election promises in 2016.

Mr O'Dowd said in a statement the study did not support extending the inland rail to Gladstone.

After reviewing part of the study, GPC said it would continue to advocate for the national infrastructure project to continue past Brisbane.

GPC is calling for "greater efforts" into investigating connecting the rail link to Gladstone.

Chairman Peter Corones said a connection between Melbourne and Gladstone would drive economic development and provide more trade opportunities.

"This would not only alleviate pressure on already congested urban areas in southeast Queensland but would also present a significant growth opportunity in the central Queensland region," Mr Corones said.

Acting chief executive Craig Walker said the Gladstone region was well-positioned to support the extension to the project.

He said Central Queensland had a skilled workforce and state development areas in Bundaberg and Gladstone that could help facilitate an extension of the inland rail.

Meanwhile, Labor candidate for Flynn Zac Beers has criticised the Federal Government for not making the feasibility study public.

"The people of Gladstone have been waiting for this report since funding for the study was first committed," Mr Beers said.



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