Grey nomads who are being ‘frightened’ away from the east coast because of the huge numbers of trucks travelling along the Pacific Highway could soon be in for a nice surprise.
While governments have recently been focussing efforts on improving the standard of the busy road, a new report has stated categorically that building the long-mooted freight train line connecting Brisbane and Melbourne is actually the way to go. And that would certainly mean a lot less trucks on the Pacific Highway … and potentially many more caravans and motorhomes.
The Inland Rail delivery plan says the track would cost about $10 billion to build but it recommends finishing the 1,700 kilometre track over the next decade. It says building the line simply makes good economic sense.
The ABC says the report, written by former deputy prime minister John Anderson, warns that if construction does not start soon, eastern Australia will become far more reliant on ‘heavy’ multi-carriage trucks.
It estimates one 3.6km interstate train could carry the equivalent of 110 B-double trucks.
The line would run through Moree, Narromine, Parkes, Wagga Wagga and Albury.
Economic analysis indicates the track could provide a $16 billion boost to NSW, Queensland and Victoria over the next 60 years.
Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss has promised to fast track the project that he says “will create up to 16,000 direct jobs during a 10-year construction period and a regular 600 jobs once operating”.
The issue has now been referred to Infrastructure Australia.