Petition pushes for railway link
A PETITIONER is hoping to gather 100,000 signatures to support the potential missing link in the proposed rail route through Warwick to the Port of Brisbane.
Anthony Hardwick, of Armidale, will send his petition to all the top dogs and has even addressed it to Her Majesty the Queen as he attempts to pull together the federal government with Queensland and New South Wales governments to further a major new inland railway.
Research on the Cunningham Rail Link from Warwick to Killarney, through Woodenbong and Beaudesert, and eventually to the Port of Brisbane, has been underway for years with developer Dave Cooke’s Trans Regional Amalgamated Infrastructure Network (TRAIN) project and his consultancy company, Nation Building Australia, leading the charge.
Mr Cooke told the Daily News yesterday he had just received the information about the petition from the south and agreed it could be the missing piece of the jigsaw.
“I haven’t had the chance to look through it yet but it does tie in,” he said.
“I know there has been a lot of work done on a border crossing over the years and there is definitely a need for this service from the south.”
Mr Cooke – whose company is developing the old woollen mills in Warwick Industrial Estate – last spoke to the Daily News after the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) recommended the major new inland railway from Melbourne to Brisbane should go through Toowoomba.
He said he had fully anticipated this and said it would not affect his plans to push to add a line stretching 377 kilometres south to Coffs Harbour from Logan and 189 kilometres west, creating a development triangle inland.
Mr Cooke said the project had just recently been acknowledged by federal government’s Infrastructure Australia as being in its development stages but having potential, something he said would open doors for TRAIN.
He said at the moment they were gathering information from all the relevant local councils and that this would be presented to the federal government.
Meanwhile, Mr Hardwick said the rail route would help grain and cotton growers in the Northern Tablelands transport their produce much more quickly and conveniently, as well as helping producers in the Granite Belt and pushing Warwick as a central distribution hub.
His petition asks for an act to be passed by each parliament, allowing a public authority (namely the New England South East Queensland Rail Infrastructure Authority) to acquire the corridor from Werris Creek, New South Wales to Warwick.
“It would stop those terrorising B-doubles on the New England and Warrego highways as we would transfer their loads onto fast freight trains,” Mr Hardwick said.
“No one wants to drive up Cunningham’s Gap with a big load.”
He told the Daily News petitions were already being distributed around the Northern Tablelands with a local credit union pledging to keep copies in store.
Mr Hardwick said he had also put copies in various stores in Wallangarra and was at present trying to distribute the petitions in the Rose City.
He suggested the project would be financed by public long-term infrastructure debt from government, industry and private international superannuation funds.
If you’re interested in signing the petition, email email@example.com or phone 02 6772 2242.