Maranoa MP hits back at TSBE over Inland Rail comments

Mr Littleproud said the region had a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” to get the Inland Rail project right.
Mr Littleproud said the region had a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” to get the Inland Rail project right. Matthew Newton

MARANOA MP David Littleproud has called for Toowoomba and Surat Basin Enterprise to "put themselves on ice" over the Federal Government's controversial preferred Inland Rail route between Yelarbon and Gowrie.

TSBE yesterday called for "politics to be put aside" and said the campaign by Nationals MPs to change the corridor one month after the decision was "a great disservice to our region".

But Mr Littleproud said the region had a "once-in-a-lifetime opportunity" to get the Inland Rail project right.

"We don't want to rush in headlong and find we've got it wrong," he said.

Mr Littleproud's concerns stem from revelations in Senate Estimates hearings on Monday that the Australian Rail Track Corporation and the Department of Infrastructure do not have an engineered solution for the line to cross the 12.5km Condamine flood plain.

"(Minister Darren Chester's) decision was predicated on cost," Mr Littleproud said.

"Senate Estimates hearings have shown there is a significant risk to the cost of the proposed corridor in that there could be a significant blow-out.

Mr Littleproud said he would continue to represent the interests of families and farmers whose lives would be affected by the preferred corridor.

"There is nobody who doesn't believe in Inland Rail," he said.

"People need to have comfort in the process and the outcome."

Topics:  gowrie inland rail toowoomba business toowoomba development toowoomba list tsbe yelarbon

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