AUSTRALIAN Rail Track Corporation deflected criticism of the $14.5 billion Inland Rail project saying it is being built to transport domestic freight primarily between terminals in Melbourne and Brisbane - one of the busiest domestic freight corridors in the country.
In a statement issued to Queensland Country Life, ARTC says the Inland Rail business case shows about 75 per cent of the revenue estimated to be generated by Inland Rail will be from intercapital - that is freight travelling between the capital cities of Melbourne and Brisbane.
"The majority of goods transported on Inland Rail will be distributed locally by road from intermodal terminals such as Acacia Ridge and Bromelton, which are the origin or destination of the bulk of the forecast rail traffic on Inland Rail," the statement reads.
"The project's business case also indicates that staged investment in capacity enhancement to the existing Acacia Ridge to the Port of Brisbane route can meet demand until 2040-41."
The comments follow criticism that only single stacked container trains will be able to travel the final 36km from Acacia Ridge to the Port of Brisbane.
Toowoomba lawyer Dan Creevey, Creevey Russell, said the project lacked logic because double stacked freight trains arriving at Acacia Ridge would need to be downloaded and re-loaded onto single stack trains.
This would force more trucks on to the roads and add to pollution and congestion, a problem recognised by The Port of Brisbane Authority, the Infrastructure Association of Queensland and farm group AgForce.
Mr Creevey said regardless of Inland Rail's shortcomings in Brisbane, affected landholders should be taking preparatory actions to maximise their compensation claims.
"If you have not yet been approached by ARTC or the Department of Main Roads and Transport it is highly likely that you will be shortly after the final approval and conditions are granted for relevant sections," Mr Creevey said.
Meanwhile, an Inland Rail Summit is being organised by business group Toowoomba and Surat Basin Enterprise (TSBE) to shore up support for the controversial project.
The event to be held in September also has the support of Toowoomba Regional Council Mayor Paul Antonio and ARTC.
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