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Former deputy prime minister John Anderson will don his transport hat again to lead a government-appointed group tasked with progressing the Melbourne to Brisbane inland railway project.
Federal Infrastructure Minister Warren Truss appointed Anderson, a former Nationals MP and transport minister, to chair an implementation group responsible for determining construction priorities and ensuring engagement with the community and stakeholders.
Truss made the announcement during his speech at this year’s AusRail conference, where he also declared the the Federal Government's commitment to looking at a new 24/7 dedicated freight line to the Port of Brisbane.
“Its first priority will be to finally settle the alignment and reserve land for the route. The group will examine financing options and engage with private sector investors and those with significant interests along the line that will benefit from its construction,” Truss says of the implementation group.
“As Australia’s longest serving transport minister, John has the experience and the networks to help bring this major infrastructure project to fruition. He has a strong record in making rail a central feature of the national freight task and a pillar of the economy, and he will bring people to the table to make our vision a reality and make it happen fast.”
Truss says he has written to the premiers of Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria seeking their cooperation and inviting them to nominate a representative to join the implementation group.
Truss says the group will include Infrastructure Department Secretary Mike Mrdak and Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) CEO John Fullerton.
“The Australian Rail Track Corporation will, under the guidance of the implementation group, work with interested parties to construct the inland rail project through a staged 10-year schedule,” Truss says.
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