The start of construction on Moreton Bay’s rail link in Queensland marks a step forward in the state’s railway engineering industry.
This is according to the state government, which claimed the project is one of the largest and most important infrastructure schemes in south-east Queensland.
The rail link will connect Petrie and Kippa-Ring, with state transport minister Scott Emerson saying it will help to lower the number of road users in the region.
“The new rail link will ease congestion on the Bruce Highway, Anzac Avenue, Gympie Road and the Gateway motorway, and make these roads much safer,” he commented.
Mr Emerson said the initiative is now full steam ahead, although there will be a short pause over the Christmas period.
Federal member for Petrie Luke Howarth said the scheme will provide a huge boost for the local economy, including jobs creation and investment opportunities.
“The Moreton Bay rail project will provide crucial infrastructure for this area, which is set to grow from 375,000 residents to more than 500,000 by 2031,” he added.
“It will create a public transport alternative for the community by connecting Redcliffe to Petrie via six new stations at Kallangur, Murrumba Downs, Mango Hill, Mango Hill East, Rothwell and Kippa-Ring.”
The rail link is being jointly funded by the federal government, the Queensland government and the Moreton Bay Regional Council, with the organisations contributing $742 million, $300 million and $105 million respectively.
Moreton Bay mayor Allan Sutherland, who joined Mr Howarth and Mr Emerson at a sod-turning ceremony to mark the project’s commencement, said it was “history in the making”.
Mr Sutherland claimed the rail link was first discussed in the late 1800s and these dreams are now becoming a reality.
He added that the project will facilitate development in one of Australia’s fastest-growing suburbs.