Lockyer Valley Regional Council has welcomed the Federal Government’s commitment and funding to fast-track a Business Case into the feasibility of an Inland Rail connection within the Lockyer Valley.
The Lockyer Valley is one of just four areas nationally to be included in the Australian Government’s $44 million funding for fast-tracking business cases, under the Inland Rail Interface Improvement Program.
Lockyer Valley Mayor, Cr Tanya Milligan said it was recognition the Lockyer Valley is one of the most impacted communities on the national line.
“It also speaks volumes about the value of the region’s agricultural sector and of Council’s consistent lobbying on behalf of local businesses and residents.
“Council has been working behind the scenes for nine months to secure funding for the business case to assess the feasibility of several proposals and take full advantage of this piece of nationally significant infrastructure bisecting our region.
“Here in the Lockyer Valley, our region produces around 20 per cent of the state’s total vegetable production and five per cent of Australia’s vegetable production.
“Maximising the benefits of the exceptional horticultural output that is produced here in the Lockyer Valley is dependent on a consistent and timely national freight network to see our produce delivered fresh across the country.
“One of the potential projects focuses on the construction of a loading and logistics hub that, if proven to be feasible, will open new markets for Lockyer Valley produce across Australia and the world.
“Any expansion in markets opens the door for an expansion in employment opportunities, which will generate vital jobs for the local economy in the recovery from COVID-19.
“As a Council, we are committed to securing a better region for our residents, both now and in the future, and this project will enable new markets for local producers and jobs for current and future generations.
“We thank Federal Member for Wright and Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Transport, Scott Buchholz MP for his support of this project,” Mayor Milligan said.
The feasibility study will be led by Ernst and Young, who have been engaged by the Australian Government.