The Economic Benefits
The Australian Government is investing billions in strong, efficient and productive supply chains that service our domestic needs and reach international markets. Inland Rail will strengthen the national supply chain network by connecting to existing freight networks delivering more than 790 billion tonnes of food, fibre and essential goods freighted each year to Australian's capital cities.
Inland Rail will support thousands of jobs for Queensland, with 335km of the total 1,600km Inland Rail line to be built or upgraded in Queensland.
Construction in Queensland includes:
- 138km of new track and 69km of upgraded track from the Queensland/New South Wales border to Gowrie
- 28km of new track from Gowrie to Helidon
- 47km of new track from Helidon to Calvert
- 53km of new track from Calvert to Kagaru
- includes 13km from Calvert to Ebenezer and a 40km single-stacked connection from Ebenezer to Kagaru.
All Queensland project sections are in reference design stage. The draft Environmental Impact Statements for Border to Gowrie, Gowrie to Helidon, Helidon to Calvert, and Calvert to Kagaru were released for public exhibition in 2021.
In April 2023 the Australian Government agreed to the recommendations made within the Independent Review of Inland Rail, that a service offering of double-stacked trains from Beveridge in Victoria to Ebenezer in Queensland, with a further 40km single stacked connection through to Kagaru. With Ebenezer identified as the preferred end point for double-stacked operations, the Kagaru to Acacia Ridge and Bromelton section of Inland Rail has been discontinued.
Queensland has a network of strong regional economies and communities, which offer diverse business, investment and employment opportunities. Five major international passenger airports and extensive road and rail networks enable Queensland to move people and freight efficiently across cities and regions.
On Friday 29 November 2019, the Australian and Queensland Governments signed a Bilateral Agreement that cements protections for Queensland residents and communities throughout the delivery of Inland Rail.
Inland Rail will significantly reduce highway congestion across regional areas and South East Queensland. It will remove 110 B-double trucks for every 1,800m train (40% double stacked) travelling between Melbourne and Brisbane. The removal of trucks from the Warrego Highway, Ipswich Motorway and Pacific Highway will ease congestion and also improve road safety.
- There are 12 Local Government Areas (LGAs) that lie in proximity to the Inland Rail alignment in Queensland. One in every nine Australians live in this area.
- As of June 2022 this region was home to approximately 2,925,336 people, which includes Brisbane and Toowoomba.
- In the 5 years to June 2022, this regions average annual population growth rate was 1.7%, compared to the Australian average of 1.1%.
- The region is renowned for it's agricultural, horticultural and livestock produce in both domestic and international markets while also producing significant amounts of minerals and resources.
- In 2021 there were 1,319,874 people employed in the area with the agriculture, forestry and fishing, mining and construction sectors collectively employed approximately 10% of the regions total employment.
- In 2022, Brisbane accounted for 16% of the total maritime imports for Australia and in value terms, imports through the Port of Brisbane have grown at an average of 3% per annum over the last 10 years.
Industry growth and investment
A long-term transport strategy has been developed by the Queensland Government which sets a framework that aims to align growing industry needs with an efficient and cost effective freight network. A key component of this strategy is to reduce transport costs that will benefit both businesses and consumers.
With a projected increase in freight volume of over 400 million tonnes over the next 15 years, the implementation of new transport hubs and investment opportunities will help to create jobs, support economies throughout the region and open up export opportunities for businesses across the region.
The following hubs are local initiatives that will present investment opportunities and complement industry throughout Queensland.
Toowoomba Enterprise Hub
This is a significant transport, logistics and business hub that offers a central location encompassing an internationally capable airport and major freight facilities on more than 2000 hectares of land close to major rail and road thoroughfares including the Warrego Highway.
SCT Logistics is a private freight operator and has invested $30 million in a new rail Intermodal Terminal at the Bromelton Industrial estate, adjacent to the Beaudesert-Boondah Road. The facility is built on 130 hectares and initially created 125 jobs and is expected to expand to 1,000 jobs with the finalisation of the masterplan of the facility.Check out Inland Rail routes and hubs for more information on intermodal business case.Crossing the Queensland terrain
Crossing Queensland will involve the safe navigation of floodplains and require technically advanced engineering to tunnel 7.1km through the Toowoomba and Little Liverpool ranges.
In 2020 the Australian and the Queensland governments established an Independent Panel of Experts (the Panel) for flood studies to provide advice on the flood modelling that underlies the design of the Inland Rail route in Queensland. The Panel has reviewed ARTC's flood modelling and reference designs against national guidelines and industry best practice.
On 7 October 2022, the Australian and Queensland governments released the Final Report of the Independent International Panel of Experts for Flood Studies of Inland Rail in Queensland (the Panel).
CSIRO Supply Chain Mapping Project
To better understand how Inland Rail could reduce transport costs and make supply chains more efficient the department partnered with the Commonwealth Scientific Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) to map and model the transport cost reductions available to businesses that use Inland Rail.
The 2022 CSIRO Supply Chain Mapping Report showed an average transport cost reduction of 40% for freight moving to Queensland, providing potential savings of $113.5 million in transport costs each year – based on a Tottenham to Acacia Ridge alignment.