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Inland Rail Promises Economic Transformation

11 September 2015

The National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) is throwing its weight behind calls to see the Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail project built in the coming decade.

NFF President Brent Finlay said the delivery plan released today by the Inland Rail Implementation Group provides a strong basis for investment.

“The Inland Rail will connect our three largest agricultural states, which generate $34 billion worth of farm output annually, and give our farmers better access to markets domestically and overseas,” Mr Finlay said.

“Providing key regional centres throughout NSW, Victoria and Queensland with a direct connection to ports and major urban centres will supercharge the economy west of the Dividing Range. It will make the choice for businesses to invest in regional Australia even smarter.

“Coupled with targeted investments in port and air freight terminals, the Inland Rail will play a pivotal role in maximising Australia’s value from new trade deals, including the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement.

“Australia is geographically gifted with proximity to the world’s fastest growing customer base. With the right infrastructure, we can have produce from Australian farms to the plate of Asian consumers on the very same day.

“At a time when the national economy is plagued by fragility, Inland Rail is just what we need to invigorate confidence – particularly in agriculture, one of Australia’s great growth opportunities.

“The Inland Rail will make Australia’s supply chain safer and more efficient – generating jobs and growth, and unlocking opportunity in Australian agriculture.

“We need this project funded and built. Farmers will be expecting to see bipartisan support for action heading into upcoming budget and election cycles. It’s an opportunity too good to defer,” Mr Finlay concluded.

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