Shifting agricultural freight from road to the proposed inland railway could save an additional tens of millions of dollars a year in transport costs, according to a study by Australia’s peak science agency.
key points inland rail
The CSIRO report found if existing road trips switched to inland rail the savings per tonne would average $76, seven times the initial estimate
Deputy PM Michael McCormack said it proves more money will go to farmers as a result of cheaper freight costs
Melbourne-to-Brisbane inland rail is expected to be operational by 2024/25
Work is underway on the $10 billion Melbourne-to-Brisbane inland rail, which CSIRO said could save the agricultural industry an additional $70 million dollars a year in freight costs on top of original estimates.
It found that if existing road trips switched to inland rail from that area alone, the average savings would reach $76 per tonne — seven times the initial estimate of just $10 a tonne.
The central-west town of Parkes is to host a national logistics hub, where inland rail will pass through the town and intersect with the Sydney-to-Perth rail line.
Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack has welcomed the CSIRO report, after being accused of withholding information about the route by farmers further north along the corridor.
Some landholders have threatened to rip up their access agreements over the route selection process, with many arguing the line unnecessarily dissects properties which they argue devalues them and creates operational challenges.
Mr McCormack said the report proved the project was a “game-changer” that would see more money going into farmers’ pockets as a result of cheaper freight costs.