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The Queensland Government says its four year $80m budget package for the Mount Isa rail line will boost minerals freight exports and support regional jobs.
Speaking in her cabinet visit to Mount Isa on Monday Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the investment will support the local mining industry.
"Investing in this region, where 75 per cent of our base metal and mineral deposits are, is crucial to growing Queensland's export and supporting local jobs," Ms Palaszczuk said.
The Premier said the government had worked with QR and industry on the implementation of the rail incentive scheme.
"After consultation workshops in Townsville in September and Brisbane in October and receiving industry feedback, the implementation arrangements have been finalised," she said.
"Today the government will be releasing the scheme guidelines and the application form to allow eligible users on the Mount Isa Line to apply for the incentive."
Deputy Premier Jackie Trad said the incentive scheme would make rail freight more competitive against road transport.
Ms Trad said the rail incentive payments will be paid to eligible participants on a quarterly basis.
"The scheme will be administered by Transport and Main Roads, with the first quarterly payment commencing at the end of this year, backdated from 1 July 2019," Ms Trad said.
Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said the subsidy is a win for the north west's economy and will provide certainty to companies who rely on the route.
"The Mount Isa Line is critical for servicing the mining industry and this investment will help existing mining operators get their resources to the Port of Townsville for export as well as encourage new investment in the state's north west," Mr Bailey said.
The government will investigate further opportunities to address barriers to increasing rail freight and barriers to new market entrants on the line and industry is encouraged to make formal submissions on proposals for consideration.
Mr Bailey said the 300km of repairs to the line after February's flooding has reduced travel time by 50 minutes significantly improving efficiency and increasing capacity.
This article first appeared on www.northweststar.com.au
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