The Federal Government will commit $3 million for the development of a business case for the Townsville Eastern Access Rail Corridor (TEARC) project in Queensland, involving a new rail freight line.

Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester said, “The development of an in-depth business case, which will consider the feasibility and the cost estimate, is a key stage in realising this important project.

“The Federal Government’s funding commitment is conditional on the Queensland Government matching the commitment. It is part of the Coalition’s $150 million commitment made by the Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in May this year.

“I have written to my counterpart in Queensland, Stirling Hinchliffe, to confirm my approval for the first stage of the project under the National Land Transport Act 2014.”

Mr Chester said the project will provide a new eight kilometre rail freight line connecting the North Coast rail line and the Mount Isa to Townsville rail line to the Port of Townsville.

“It will transform Townsville’s city centre by redirecting significant quantities of freight travelling by rail to the Port of Townsville away from the CBD,” Mr Chester said.

“Positive discussions between Australian Government and Queensland officials to settle appropriate governance arrangements are currently underway.

“Once the business case is complete, the project will then be assessed by Infrastructure Australia, as part of the approval process for projects receiving over $100 million in Australian Government funding.”

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