Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Port of Brisbane Pty Ltd (PBPL) acknowledges and supports today's joint announcement by the Federal Coalition and Queensland Government to support the development of a dedicated freight rail line to service trade moving through the Port of Brisbane.

PBPL believes the delivery of a sustainable, long term rail freight transport solution to service Queensland's premier port is needed urgently to prevent worsening freight-induced traffic congestion and future quality of life impacts for South East Qld communities.

Since privatisation in 2010, PBPL has invested significant resources and capital into identifying sustainable, balanced transport solutions, including freight rail, which can support Queensland's growing freight task.

Without a dedicated freight rail solution, it is forecast that by 2025, over seven million annual truck movements servicing the Port of Brisbane will be required to sustain Qld's population and economic growth.

A dedicated rail freight solution connecting the consumer, agricultural and resources sectors located west of Toowoomba with the proposed inland rail project and the Port of Brisbane would deliver significant benefits to the Qld and Australian economies.

Over 40% of trade currently handled by the Port of Brisbane originates from regions in the corridor from the Port to west of Toowoomba. PBPL's trade growth forecasts predict this trade will double over the next decade and increase four fold over the next 25 to 30 years. Such trade growth needs to be serviced through a balanced multi-modal solution with a dominant modal share on rail to reduce community and environmental impacts.

Key benefits stemming from the development of a dedicated rail freight line to service the Port of Brisbane include:

Significant reduction in future truck related traffic congestion on South-East Queensland (SEQ) roads
Improved road safety and community amenity
Separation of freight and passenger train services provides increased capacity for both transport modes and increased functionality and amenity for Brisbane's passenger rail network
Opportunities to stimulate regional intermodal freight terminals which would deliver significant logistics and transport efficiencies for Qld's consumer and agricultural markets
Reduced road infrastructure costs (in terms of both capital and maintenance)
Reduced combustion related carbon emissions and improved air quality for SEQ
Opportunities to deliver passenger rail-related Transit Oriented Developments in rapidly growing communities including Brisbane, Ipswich and Toowoomba
Securing the long-term sustainability of Qld's agricultural sector and the state's global trade competitiveness by delivering a more efficient route to market for the State's exports.
PBPL has invested significantly in a review of options to address future growth and capacity constraints and is currently completing a pre-feasibility study to demonstrate the commercial, social and environmental viability of dedicated freight rail.

PBPL's investigations to date into a dedicated freight rail solution to service the port have been undertaken through a proactive working relationship with the Qld Government and Australian Rail Track Corporation.

PBPL welcomes the Qld Government's support for a dedicated intermodal freight rail network. We look forward to working with government and industry stakeholders to further explore options for the rail line development to ensure that community and environmental impacts are minimised whilst maximising the economic benefit to the State.

PBPL believes the State Government's potential tunnel solution between the existing north-south interstate rail line and the port is an option, as part of an overall dedicated freight rail solution that warrants further investigation to determine safety, technical, commercial, social and environmental merit.


Media contact: Cameron Tomes (07) 3258 4938

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