The Business Case completed for Inland Rail includes provision for the
transport of coal from mines in the Surat and Clarence-Moreton Basins in
It should be noted most of the freight forecast to be transported on
Inland Rail is inter-capital city, non-bulk freight that is destined for
domestic markets in Melbourne and Brisbane and immediate surrounds. Such
freight includes whitegoods, beverages, food, grocery items etc.
Inland Rail is responsible for construction of the project, in line with an agreed project scope and relevant project approvals from the Commonwealth and State governments. The Inland Rail Intergovernmental Agreement for Queensland between the State and Federal Governments has a provision that coal trains won’t run on Inland Rail along the Kagaru to Acacia Ridge project alignment until construction of the Salisbury to Beaudesert passenger line commences, which is still a number of years away, or another time as agreed by governments.
Whether or not coal trains, or any trains, operate in future on Inland Rail is not a matter for ARTC alone to determine but also a matter for the relevant freight companies, including coal mines. It will also be a commercial matter for coal train operators as to whether they continue to use the existing QR line via Ipswich and the densely populated inner western suburbs of Brisbane or whether they access Inland Rail. Where coal trains will use Inland Rail, ARTC (as the track owner) and freight operators will have to comply with all freight rail legislation, including dust emissions, as determined by the Queensland Government.
Under the terms of access undertakings with the
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), ARTC is required to
operate an open access rail network allowing customers the opportunity to
access train paths according to demand and availability. ARTC cannot
determine which freight goods are moved on its network as that is a matter for
the freight companies, in accordance with relevant Federal and State