Albury-Wodonga will get a head start on the massive potential for growth resulting from the Inland Rail corridor, after the border cities won a bid to host the Inland Rail Conference 2020.
The two-day conference is expected to attract 450 delegates – many from the freight and logistics sector – bringing a potential economic boost to the region of $335,000.
AlburyCity Mayor Kevin Mack said winning the conference was a major coup for the border cities, which are strategically placed as a key location on the inland rail route.
“This is obviously fantastic news for the local economy but in the bigger picture, it’s also a golden opportunity for Albury and Wodonga to work together to make the most of the huge potential that the rail route will offer,” he said.
“With direct access to freeway and air links, competitive land prices and our close proximity to 75 per cent of Australia’s population, Albury-Wodonga is a perfect place to invest and that will only improve with the arrival of the inland rail project.”
Wodonga Mayor Anna Speedie said the conference was a fantastic opportunity to showcase the region not only for its many tourism drawcards but also what it could offer for business and investment.
“Together Albury-Wodonga is the 19th largest city in Australia and a strong, growing regional centre,” she said.
“We know we live in a great part of the world and the chance to share it with a key sector that potentially will want to invest, work and even live here is one that offers significant benefit for our community.
“This opportunity will allow our region to capitalise on the current economic climate and highlight why Albury-Wodonga should be a top consideration as an area in which to invest.”
During the conference, the delegates will visit Albury’s Nexus Industrial Precinct and Wodonga’s Logic centre, providing opportunities to showcase both facilities to investors.
The Inland Rail project will be Australia’s largest freight rail project, spanning more than 1700 kilometres between Brisbane and Melbourne via regional centres in NSW, Victoria and Queensland.
It will significantly improve freight connectivity between regional centres and the marketplace, ensuring freight can be delivered along the route within 24 hours or less.
Organised by the Australian Logistics Council and the Australasian Railway Association, the conference will be hosted at venues across both cities in August next year.