House debates

Wednesday, 30 March 2022

Statements by Members

Inland Rail

1:50 pm

Photo of Garth HamiltonGarth Hamilton (Groom, Liberal National Party) Share this | | Hansard source

I am delighted to report to the House we have taken the first concrete steps towards the construction of the Inland Rail project in the Toowoomba region. Last week the first sod was turned at the InterLinkSQ site to commence enabling works for this fantastic legacy project. At this site the western Border to Gowrie section meets the eastern Gowrie to Kagaru section. The $18 million funding agreement between ARTC and InterLinkSQ will see utilities moved and upgraded to prepare for the Charlton site for the Inland Rail line and the planned intermodal hub. It's a particularly important piece of infrastructure for our region. This sets us up as a distribution network for South-East Queensland. It's a win-win that will prevent a doubling-up of works further down the line.

The construction is going to be carried out by a local firm, Newlands. This is just the start of the jobs and economic benefits we will see flow into our local economy from this project. Across the state of Queensland, we will see 11,800 jobs at the peak of construction and a boost of more than $7.8 billion to gross state product during construction in the first several years. The Toowoomba region stands to benefit the most from these gains, not just in Queensland but across Australia. As I was saying, there's $5 billion of construction work happening within the Toowoomba region, a fantastic investment that will really set us up. I would like to thank InterLinkSQ for all of their efforts and foresight investing in this area. I remind again: this will provide local firms with work and local people with jobs. It's a fantastic investment, and long may it continue on.