Toowoomba to Gladstone rail a state priority

QUEENSLAND'S Deputy Premier has labelled plans for an inland rail route linking Toowoomba to Gladstone as a priority for the state.

Callide MP Jeff Seeney said he would work with the Federal Government to ensure the missing rail connection would become a vital cog in Queensland's future prosperity.

"In planning the Queensland section of the inland rail, we'll be pursuing the establishment of a rail connection from the Darling Downs to Gladstone as a priority for Queensland's long-term future," he told Queensland Parliament on Wednesday.

"The completion of a proposed rail line ... often referred to as the southern missing link, will one day link up the Surat Basin and allow for the export of significant volumes of coal through the Port of Gladstone.

"The Queensland Government has already laid significant groundwork behind this strategy.

"The Surat Basin infrastructure corridor state development area, a 214km rail corridor between the towns of Wandoan and Banana, which will accommodate the proposed inland rail, is already in place.

"An exclusive mandate granted to the Surat Basin Rail Joint Venture to develop the rail connection on this corridor ended last year."

Mr Seeney said "a number of parties" had since approached his department expressing an interest in building the longer rail connection from Toowoomba to Gladstone, incorporating that existing corridor.

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