Government and business representatives have united to urge the Australian Government to reconsider its response to a report by Dr Kerry Schott recommending changes to the proposed Inland Rail project.
Beaudesert Chamber of Commerce President, John Powell has joined Federal Member for Wright Scott Buchholz, State Member for Scenic Rim Jon Krause and Mayor Greg Christensen to voice their disappointment in the recommendations made.
One of the recommendations of Dr Schott’s Inland Rail Review would see Ebenezer (west of Ipswich) replace Bromelton as the preferred site for the end terminal for Inland Rail.
This would prevent the Bromelton State Development Area from reaching its full potential, with only single-stacked trains to run from Ebenezer to Kagaru.
A delegation from Beaudesert Chamber of Commerce’s Bromelton Business Group met with the Queensland Assistant Coordinator General last month to discuss planning and infrastructure concerns at Bromelton.
Mr Powell said although Ebenezer was mentioned, there was no indication of the recommended termination of the large trains.
“If the recommendations are adopted, it means that development at Bromelton could be reviewed or halted by companies with plans for the area, which will of course have flow on effects for employment in Beaudesert,” Mr Powell said.
Mr Buchholz described the recommendations of the Inland Rail report as ‘short-sighted, impacting the future viability of the Inland Rail’.
“While communities in Logan City along the Kagaru to Acacia Ridge stretch of Inland Rail no doubt welcome a report recommending less impact from freight trains on their areas, the Scenic Rim has been dealt a cruel blow by this report.”
“The recommendation that any railway to Bromelton should only carry single-stacked trains (not double-stacked) removes the basis upon which Bromelton has been set up as a “ready to go” intermodal freight hub through SCT Logistics’ major investment there – which has already created dozens of jobs for locals.”
“This would see our communities bear impacts of a railway, while the jobs and economic benefits are removed.”
Jon Krause echoed Mr Buchholz’s sentiments, and was concerned that the recommendation has been made without a business case or upgrading of local roads.
Mayor Greg Christensen said if the recommendations of the report are adopted, the Scenic Rim will be deprived of the full economic benefits of what has long been seen as a game-changer for the region.
“The attractiveness of the Bromelton State Development Area depends on high-performing logistics and operators such as SCT that showed early good faith in its potential, anticipating the efficiencies that would be delivered by double-stacked trains in this section of the Inland Rail project.”
Mr Buchholz stated that the report ‘hangs SCT and the Scenic Rim out to dry’.