An additional $64 million was committed in Budget 2019-20 to improve connections to Inland Rail and to look at opportunities for intermodal terminals in Melbourne and Brisbane.
Inland Rail is the essential spine connecting the national freight network and to maximise the benefits $44 million has been allocated through the Inland Rail Interface Program to develop strategic business cases that identify and prioritise opportunities to enhance the connection of existing freight transport and regional communities to Inland Rail.
The program will look at the potential to improve the interface between the existing road and rail network and Inland Rail, and identify the opportunities to deliver a more integrated, cost effective and connected regional freight rail network.
Efficient intermodal terminals in Melbourne and Brisbane are equally important to realising the benefits of Inland Rail and providing broader economic benefits including improving the competitiveness of Australia’s freight supply chain.
Providing connectivity to Australia’s ports, regional networks, capital cities and industry supply chains – intermodal terminals play a significant role in facilitating the consolidation, storage and transfer of freight between rail and road at the beginning and end of each rail journey.
The government is investing up to $20 million to develop business cases, with the Victorian and Queensland Governments, which explore options for new intermodal terminals in Melbourne and Brisbane that are capable of meeting the Inland Rail service standards.
The intermodal terminals business cases will be jointly funded by the Australian Government, on a 50:50 basis, with the Victorian and Queensland Governments.