Up to $500 million from the Queensland Government - announced ahead of the State Budget - is going to be invested to promote mining and exploration in the north west as well as boost mineral freight export on the Mount Isa Line.
“We can improve reliability with better transport infrastructure and that’s what this plan will do,” Deputy Premier and Treasurer Jackie Trad said.
This significant investment will bring discounted freight charges on the Mount Isa Line and will deliver a new container terminal at the Port of Townsville, supporting the five-year line maintenance budget that the North Queensland resources industry will benefit from.
“A number of mines are trucking minerals from the north west to the port, and the trains that are carrying minerals in shipping containers have to be unloaded at Stuart and then trucked 12 kilometres to the port.
“Building a new common user rail freight terminal at the port will make the Mount Isa Line more attractive for exporters and take trucks off the Flinders Highway and Townsville’s roads,” Ms Trad said.
The State Government is set to contribute $30 million to build the new freight terminal and the Port of Townsville will contribute the remaining $18 million.
The Queensland Government will also be investing approximately $80 million to be spent over a four-year period to reduce rail access charges on the Mount Isa Line, helping shift freight movement from road to rail.
“The Mount Isa Line is critical for North Queensland’s economy, making it more efficient and cost competitive is vital to support and grow resources exports in the region.
“We’ve listened and will provide Queensland Rail with $20 million each year starting from 1 July this year to reduce rail access charges and will work with industry on implementation arrangements,” Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said.
Mr Bailey added that the Queensland Government will be investing $380 million over five years to help maintain and improve the Mount Isa Line to make freight movement faster and more reliable.
These projects are expected to give greater certainty to companies in the industry that rely on the Mount Isa Line; as well as provide regional jobs, including during the construction of the new container terminal at the Port of Townsville.
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