The State Government has finalised guidelines around an $80 million incentive scheme for commercial freight users on the Mount Isa Line.
In town for a Cabinet meeting, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk visited the Mount Isa Line today and said the Queensland Government’s investment would support the growth of the mining industry in the state’s north west.
“As part of this year’s State Budget released in June, my government announced $20 million in annual funding for four years in incentives for commercial freight users on the Mount Isa Line,” she said.
“Since this time we have been working with Queensland Rail and industry on the best approach to implement the scheme.
“After holding two consultation workshops in Townsville in September and Brisbane in October and receiving industry feedback, the implementation arrangements have been finalised.
“Today the government will be releasing the scheme guidelines and the application form to allow eligible users on the Mount Isa Line to apply for the incentive.”
Rail payments will be paid to eligible participants on a quarterly basis.
The scheme will be administered by Transport and Main Roads, with the first quarterly payment commencing at the end of this year, backdated from July 1.
Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said the scheme would provide certainty to companies who relied on the route.
It followed recent upgrades to the line, following flood damage, which had reduced freight travel times between Mount Isa and Townsville by 50 minutes, significantly improving efficiency and increasing capacity, Mr Bailey said.
Based upon the recent feedback from industry, the Queensland Government will continue to investigate, with industry’s support, opportunities to address barriers to increasing rail freight and barriers to new market entrants on the Mount Isa Line.
Industry are encouraged to make formal submissions on proposals for government’s further consideration.