After two years as Chairperson of the Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail Alliance (MBIRA), representing all local government authorities on or adjacent to the Inland Rail route right through from Melbourne to Brisbane, Moree Plains Shire Council Councillor Sue Price has stepped down.
Toowoomba Regional Council Mayor Paul Antonio will be the new Chair moving forward.
Councillor Price said, “MBIRA has been a tireless advocate for the Inland Rail since well before the Federal Government endorsed it and handed it to the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) to design and construct in 2018.”
“MBIRA’s advocacy is still vital to make sure the project gets finished in time, to world’s best-practice standards and to future-proof eastern Australia’s freight networks.
“The national freight task will treble in 30 years, outgrowing the road network’s carrying capacity. Rail must take up the balance.
“Not only that, but Inland Rail has the capacity to drive economic recovery in regional Australia post the COVID crisis.
“More than $8 billion will be pumped into the communities in the corridor – at least 75% to local industry and workers. It can be the post-COVID boost that the Snowy River Scheme was post WWII.”
Mayor Paul Antonio agreed with the sentiment, thanking Cr Price for her service to the role.
“Inland Rail is key to stimulating the economy in the next 12-24 months,” he said.
“My biggest worry at present is for any potential delays there may be in relation to the Inland Rail.
“I know that private industry is poised to get right behind this project, but they need certainty in order to invest.
“Let’s get on and get it done, to the highest standards, with the needs of affected land-holders addressed and compensation paid to those for whom the impact cannot be eliminated.”