Rail corridor forges ahead
A NEW rail line bypassing the city via Stuart could be brought forward earlier than expected, with the State Government buying the last parcel of land needed for the project.
Treasurer Curtis Pitt will now consider fast- tracking the Townsville Eastern Access Rail Corridor ( TEARC) under the Federal Government’s $ 5 billion Northern Australia infrastructure fund.
The State Budget allocated $ 444,000 to finalise land acquisition for the project, which will include a rail line branching off at Cluden and continuing next to the Port Access Rd.
As revealed by the Bulletin yesterday, the Budget also committed $ 50 million for a new primary school at North Shore, to be open for the 2018 school year, and $ 40 million to begin construction on a high school also in the city’s north-
Budget allocated $ 444,000
to finalise land acquisition for the
ern corridor to be open by 2020. A total of $ 100 million over four years was committed for the CBD stadium project, estimated to cost a total of $ 200 million.
In a recent letter to his federal counterpart Joe Hockey, Mr Pitt said he would consider bringing forward TEARC if the project could access the Commonwealth’s $ 5 billion Northern Australia loan facility.
“I reiterate that the Palaszczuk Government believes the people of North Queensland deserve real, new Commonwealth funding for infrastructure projects, rather than concessional loans that may have a range of unknown and potentially restrictive conditions attached to them,” Mr Pitt said.
“However, in the interest of prioritising jobs and economic growth in regional Queensland, the Queensland Government stands willing to work with the Commonwealth to seek to establish appropriate arrangements for the fund so that North Queensland can access its fair share of these concessional loans.”
Port of Townsville chief executive Ranee Crosby said she welcomed the move to bring forward the project.
Ms Crosby said the port would look to partner with Queensland Rail and the State Government to secure funding for the project.