Mayor calls for railway line through Warwick
MAYOR Tracy Dobie has called for the Inland Rail line to run past Warwick instead of Millmerran following a $594million Federal Government commitment.
Cr Tracy said it made more sense to have the Brisbane-to-Melbourne route follow the existing rail line rather than creating new track through prime agricultural land.
She said a line through the Rose City would bring a big economic boost to the Southern Downs, as the region's economy was increasingly tied to containerised freight.
"The most efficient way to do this is by rail," Cr Dobie said.
"When you think about the amount of damage that big trucks to do our roads every year - and they can only move one container at a time - it doesn't make logistical sense.
"I believe rail is the future and as our regions expands we will need those rail lines."
Cr Dobie said a line running near Warwick would allow produce to be shipped to Brisbane and interstate.
She feared without the inland rail project, the current line could be abandoned, a potential move she labelled "unacceptable."
Warwick Chamber of Commerce president Lewis von Stieglitz said the project was a major infrastructure opportunity for the region.
"The region needs infrastructure investment in roads and bridges and the inland rail will be particularly valuable," Mr von Stieglitz said.
"The line would create jobs during the construction phase and add to Warwick's position as an infrastructure hub at a transport crossroads."
LNP Candidate for Maranoa David Littleproud said building the inland rail was a key commitment for the Federal Government.
"If we put infrastructure in place, people will innovate and create opportunities," Mr Littleproud said.
"At Thallon they're looking to put in a storage facility for cotton because it's cheaper to store it there than in Brisbane.
"It's important we're linking our part of the world with the rest of the world and getting product to places as efficiently as possible to build local economies in regional Australia.
"We've committed to delivering the next stage and now we're working with the Australia Rail Transport Corporation on what's the best delivery method and I'll be working as hard as I can to convince them to consider alternative routes."