"It stands to reason that the straightest line between Melbourne and Brisbane (but preferably Gladstone) is not along the coast but through the inland," Senator Joyce says.
"A locomotive with two drivers which pulls approximately 1400 tonnes is far more efficient than a truck with one driver pulling about 50 tonnes.
“If you are standing at the traffic lights in Moree, NSW, or the roundabout at Goondiwindi, Qld, it becomes a clear fact the north – south transport of produce in the eastern states has to get off the road and onto rail.
“I commend the allocation of $15 million of taxpayer funds towards the feasibility study of the standard gauge rail link.
"I hope, if the government is truly interested in productivity, it goes a lot further than that and soon.
“It will also be essential to make sure that in the development of the inland rail access is not monopolised.
"Otherwise some of the potential benefits will be quickly lost.
"The association of the movement of bulk produce, such as coal and grain, has a bad habit of playing into the hands of those who hold the commodity receiver infrastructure.
“This has become glaringly apparent in the latest Senate Committee inquiry into the draft Wheat Export Marketing Bill 2008.
"When the sole mover of the produce in a region is also the sole purchaser, then the multiple sellers are in a bad position indeed, without transparency and equivalency of terms.
“The government has become hesitant to deal with the regional monopolisations which have become established at the regional loading terminals of bulk commodities.
"This must be changed so the inland rail is a great asset for all Australians, not just a couple.”
SOURCE: Queensland Country Life