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Palaszczuk Govt under fire over inland rail delays

The Palaszczuk Government is being urged to “get on with it” and sign up to a deal to build the Commonwealth’s inland rail project and allow thousands of jobs to flow to the state. Labor has come under fire for dragging its feet on projects such as Adani’s Carmichael coal mine and Brisbane City Council’s Brisbane Metro.

Anger as new Inland Rail map reveals route. Infrastructure Association Queensland CEO Steve Abson has listed the $10 billion inland rail project as another project the Government seemed unable to say yes to at this stage. Inland Rail would create thousands of jobs and take freight off busy roads. He said the project was expected to create more than 7000 jobs during construction.

“It seems to be an emerging trend that projects are being held up because of the state’s involvement,” Mr Abson said. “The failure to sign an intergovernmental agreement is leaving a lot of companies exposed who would be lining up to bid on one of the major projects in Queensland which is the inland rail PPP (public-private partnership).”

QLD Labor Minster Mark Bailey defended the Palaszczuk Government’s handling of the project. Transport Minister Mark Bailey said there was a range of issues that had to be resolved before the deal was signed.

“We’ve got a number of agricultural communities at Millmerran and the Lockyer Valley who have very strong objections to the alignment of the inland rail,” he said. “I had a meeting with the Deputy Prime Minister a couple of weeks ago. We had a very friendly and positive chat, but I did say to him these are the issues that need to be resolved and dealt with and he took that on board.”

Sarah Vogler, State Political Editor, The Courier-Mail