Banana Shire CEO ‘confident’ Inland Rail to Gladstone is ‘feasible’
A long-mooted plan to re-route the Inland Rail to Gladstone has been officially received by Banana Shire Council after a report showed it would be at least $3 billion cheaper than sending it to Brisbane.
Council CEO Tom Upton said the Toowoomba to Gladstone option would provide greater opportunity for expansion in the future, compared to Brisbane.
This is according to an AEC report released earlier this year.
“Our role here was to demonstrate feasibility of the option and we’ve got to a stage where we’re confident that’s the case,” Mr Upton said in the ordinary council meeting on April 28.
Mayor Neville Ferrier said there were politicians on each side agreeing to the Gladstone option.
“It’s certainly well and truly on the table,” he said.
The Inland Rail project is now estimated to cost $15 billion and would run from Melbourne to a new inland port at Toowoomba, before heading down the Toowoomba and Teviot Ranges to Acacia Ridge in Brisbane.
If it goes to Gladstone, it would most likely take the existing western rail line through Dalby and Miles, with the missing link between Wandoan and Banana to be constructed before heading toward Gladstone.
There will be an Inland Rail conference to be held in Albury-Wodonga from May 25-27, with the next council meeting being rescheduled to May 24.
A senate inquiry report on the Inland Rail project is expected to be handed down on Thursday, May 13.