QLD freight strategy a move to rail and more efficient road freight

QRTrainsA 10-year drive to expand Queensland’s rail freight capacity will be the cornerstone to the Newman Government’s strategy to meet a 70 per cent growth in produce and commodity movements.

Transport and Main Roads Minister Scott Emerson said the draft Moving Freight strategy which identifies 38 actions would support the resources, agriculture, construction and tourism sectors.

“We’ve already taken actions to fund additional train lines for the Darling Downs, more cattle train services and open up routes for safer classes of heavy vehicles,” Mr Emerson said.

“We also have funding submissions before the Federal Government for improvements to train lines on the Sunshine Coast and between Townsville and Mt Isa.

“Today we are releasing this strategy for industry feedback to ensure Queensland has a clear direction to meet the ever-expanding freight task.

“Peak bodies like Agforce, Australian Logistics Council, and Queensland Transport and Logistics Council have told us they want better access to rail, while still maintaining a strong road transport industry and we are supporting these calls.”

Freight volumes across Queensland are forecast to increase from 881 million tonnes in 2010 to 1550 million tonnes in 2021.

Some of the key actions and initiatives in Moving Freight include:

  • Preserving train paths on regional rail lines for non-coal freight
  • Making major freights routes more resilient to floods and natural disasters
  • Better collection and analysis of freight data
  • Continuing to reduce red tape for heavy vehicle permits

“This strategy outlines short, medium and long term actions to move freight onto rail and improve the efficiency of the road freight,” Mr Emerson said.

“We’ve received input from regional and rural industries to develop this strategy and I look forward to feedback over the coming months.”

The Moving Freight strategy is available at www.tmr.qld.gov.au/movingfreight ( http://www.tmr.qld.gov.au/movingfreight )

It is expected to be finalised by late 2013, and will support the government’s current road and rail infrastructure program.

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