On 13 April 2020, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure announced the 16 successful proposals under the first round of expressions of interest for the Interface Improvement Program.
The proponents for each eligible proposal have been allocated specialist advisors from an Ernst and Young Australia-led consortium to further develop their ideas into robust business cases and feasibility studies.
The Program does not provide or guarantee funding for projects. By providing business case support, the Program helps local organisations, governments and communities make a case for further investment.
Whether transport hubs or road and rail upgrades, developing these proposals provides an opportunity to assess the costs and benefits of improving connections between Inland Rail and the producers and communities alongside it.
The next round of expressions of interest is expected to open mid-2020.
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Successful project proposals
Proposals submitted through the expression of interest process
The following project proposals were submitted through the first round of expressions of interest. They have met the information requirements in the gateway process and delivered on the project principles for the productivity enhancement and country lines improvement programs.
The list below is in alphabetical order according to the proponent.
|Proponent||Location||Proposal and potential benefits||Program|
|Border Regional Organisation of Councils||NSW/QLD border||Proposal to review access opportunities to Inland Rail and improve connectivity for high-productivity vehicles to either potential or existing intermodal sites on existing rail corridors. The proposal has the potential to review Bruxner Way, the Boggabilla Siding, and the existing narrow-gauge rail west of the proposed alignment towards Thallon, as well as potential choke points on the major roads linking to Goondiwindi.||Productivity Enhancement Program|
|Goondiwindi Regional Council||Kurumbul to Thallon, QLD||Proposal to develop a Goondiwindi to Inland Rail corridor connection by upgrading the current South Western rail line alongside the Queensland and New South Wales border from Kurumbul to Thallon. The proposal has the potential to allow better connectivity to Inland Rail.||Country Lines Improvement Program|
|Gunnedah Shire Council||Gunnedah, NSW||Proposal to develop a Gunnedah Intermodal Freight Terminal. The proposal has the potential to position Gunnedah as a provisioning centre for Inland Rail, given its existing infrastructure and connections to key towns and cities in the region.||Productivity Enhancement Program|
|Interlink SQ and Seaway||Toowoomba, QLD||Proposal to develop the South West Intermodal Project. The proposal has the potential to provide a cost-effective and efficient service offering through the facilitation of a “hub and spoke” logistics network. This would include the construction of a new rail siding and a primary regional aggregation and distribution centre (hub) in Toowoomba.||Productivity Enhancement Program|
|Leeton Shire and Griffith City Councils||Western Riverina, NSW||Proposal to upgrade the WRConnect intermodal facility. The proposal has the potential to enhance the efficiency of freight movement in the Western Riverina, improve connectivity to and throughput of Inland Rail at Junee, and create investor confidence for the region.||Productivity Enhancement Program|
|Moree Plains Shire Council||Moree, NSW||Proposal to develop the Moree Intermodal Park and Regional Activation Project. The proposal has the potential to increase Inland Rail throughput, enable productivity improvements to Inland Rail, increase modal shift from road to rail, and increase regional economic growth.||Productivity Enhancement Program|
|Moree Plains and Gwydir Shire Councils||Croppa Creek, NSW||Proposal for a road and rail interface project which includes an upgrade to Buckie and County Boundary Roads and an intersection to allow access to the proposed rail spur in Croppa Creek that connects to Inland Rail. The proposal has the potential to support regional economic growth, productivity improvements and throughput to Inland Rail, and to increase modal shift from road to rail.||Productivity Enhancement Program|
|SCT Logistics||Wodonga, VIC||Proposal to develop the intermodal and refrigeration hub in Wodonga. The proposal has the potential to maximise linkages between logistics and freight supply chains and Inland Rail. It proposes to achieve this through upgrading and constructing new intermodal, open-access freight infrastructure and refrigeration for exporters at the Wodonga Intermodal Park within the LOGIC transport site.||Productivity Enhancement Program|
|SCT Logistics||Parkes, NSW||Proposal to develop the Parkes Intermodal and Refrigeration Hub. The proposal has the potential to maximise linkages between logistics and freight supply chains, and Inland Rail. It proposes to achieve this through upgrading and constructing new intermodal, open-access freight infrastructure and cold storage for exporters, importers and local markets.||Productivity Enhancement Program|
|Strathbogie Shire Council||Mangalore, VIC||Proposal to establish a freight intermodal terminal at Mangalore airfield, Victoria. The proposal has the potential to help with the efficient transfer of freight between road, rail and air as needed.||Productivity Enhancement Program|
|Transport for NSW||Stockinbingal to Griffith, NSW||Proposal to increase the axle load limit on the rail line between Stockinbingal and Griffith. The proposal has the potential to contribute to the standardisation of the rail network throughout regional New South Wales by providing improved connectivity between regional hubs such as Griffith and Temora, and Inland Rail.||Country Lines Improvement Program|
|Transport for NSW||Narromine to Dubbo, NSW||Proposal to increase the axle load limit on the rail line between Narromine and Dubbo. The proposal has the potential to contribute to the standardisation of the rail network throughout regional New South Wales by providing improved connectivity between regional hubs and Inland Rail.||Country Lines Improvement Program|
|Toowoomba Regional Council||Toowoomba, QLD||Proposal to construct a rail provisioning/maintenance centre for Inland Rail operations at strategic locations within the Toowoomba region. The proposal has the potential to maximise economic benefits for rural townships, for example the southern township of Millmerran.||Productivity Enhancement Program|
|Toowoomba Regional Council and Darling Downs & South West Queensland Council of Mayors||Toowoomba, QLD||Proposal to investigate additional rail connections to the existing South West Rail System at Yelarbon and Southbrook. The proposal has the potential to improve rail connections to Inland Rail to accommodate heavy agricultural, mining and bulk commodity loads from the west, and to minimise the need for both road and rail freight loads through the city of Toowoomba.||Country Lines Improvement Program|
|Toowoomba Regional Council and Darling Downs & South West Queensland Council of Mayors||Toowoomba, QLD||Proposal to upgrade and reopen the existing Western/West Moreton Rail System and the South West Rail System. The proposal has the potential to maximise the benefits of Inland Rail through upgrading existing rail systems to accommodate the same loads as Inland Rail, and revitalising these lines through cost-effective integration.||Country Lines Improvement Program|
|Wagga Wagga City Council||Wagga Wagga, NSW||For a Riverina intermodal freight and logistics hub. The proposal has the potential to provide additional infrastructure that would increase Inland Rail throughput and boost regional economic growth.||Productivity Enhancement Program|
The following proposals went through the same gateway process, were assessed as eligible against program principles and fast-tracked to begin working with advisers in early 2020.
|Proponent||Location||Proposal and potential benefits||Program|
|Gilgandra and Coonamble Shire Councils||Gilgandra to Coonamble, NSW||Proposal to upgrade the Gilgandra-Coonamble line allowing for heavier, faster trains and improved interoperability with Inland Rail. The proposal has potential benefits for standardising the regional NSW network and supporting local operators in getting produce to market.||Country Lines Improvement Program|
|Lockyer Valley Council||Lockyer Valley, QLD||Proposal to investigate the viability of a Lockyer Valley and Inland Rail connection which will leverage existing and planned local output and infrastructure. A viable connection would increase productivity and connect Lockyer Valley producers and businesses to southern markets.||Productivity Enhancement Program|
|Narrabri Shire Council||Narrabri, NSW||Proposal to improve the road/rail interface at Narrabri to make the most of strong local investment activity and production. The proposal suggests improvements for higher volumes and interoperability with Inland Rail.||Productivity Enhancement Program|
|Warrumbungle Shire Council||Baradine, NSW||Proposal to improve the connection between Baradine grain silos and Inland Rail. The proposal suggests a partial reinstatement of the Gwabegar line to make way for a connection with silos to the south of Baradine. A connection has the potential to increase throughput and encourage the shift from road to rail.||Country Lines Improvement Program|