Inland Rail Project Report Blasts ARTC And Federal Government
A scathing report has been released into the management of the Inland Rail Project connecting Melbourne to Brisbane via Albury, country NSW and regional Queensland.
The Senate Committee issued a blistering review, assessing a range of major issues linked to the 17,000-kilometre freight rail network.
The report delivered 26 recommendations to fix the shortfalls of the project identifying a lack of community consultation, route selection and flood plain preparedness.
Government-owned Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) are delivering the construction of Inland Rail which was initially estimated a cost of $4.7 billion in 2015 and has since ballooned to $14.3 billion.
NSW Country Women's Association CEO Danika Leys says the project has become a basket case of mismanagement and budget blowouts.
"We know the project has blown out to about $15 billion dollars already and with the issues that remain un-addressed, such as not adequately addressing hydrology and flooding matters, we think it’s going to blow out even more. So, value to the taxpayer is something the Federal government is going to have to address with this project"
- Danika Leys
Meantime, the report also proposes extending the rail to Gladstone, 500 kilometres north of Brisbane, and building a passenger line from Brisbane to Toowoomba.
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