$9.5M CQ Inland Port construction officially begins
THE CQ Inland Port has taken a significant step forward with a $9.5 million rail and road upgrade officially under way.
The works will build a 1.5km dead-end rail siding, capable of handing 42 wagons, upgrade Bonnie Doon Rd intersection at the Capricorn Hwy and rail crossing, and upgrade the industrial access road to the rail siding.
The project at Yamala, 25km east of Emerald, has been funded by a combination of State Government funding ($4.4 million), industry partnerships ($4.41 million) and the Central Highlands Regional Council ($695,000).
The project is expected to create 28 construction jobs, boost the local economic, and provide more opportunities for the region's future.
GrainCorp has already announced plans to move grain from Emerald to Yamala with a $20 million facility acting as the anchor operator in the port.
Central Highlands Mayor Kerry Hayes said the sod turning today represented a significant addition to infrastructure connectivity for the region.
"The co-investment by this council with the State Government shows how important this project is to the region and how a collaborative approach to vital investment provides great benefits for industry, agriculture and services,” Cr Hayes said.
"The presence of GrainCorp as a major tenant with a state-of-the art grain handling facility, demonstrates that, with careful incentives from local and state governments, the private sector can confidently invest in the region, providing greater economy of scale and ultimately better returns to growers.”
Managing Director CQ Inland Port, Alan Stent-Smith, said he was excited to see the project officially begin after more than five years of planning.
"Projects of this scale and complexity don't happen overnight and without the strong support and collaboration between the State Government, council, and GrainCorp our vision would not have become a reality,” Mr Stent-Smith said.
"We look forward to continuing to work with these partners as we forge ahead with the construction and delivery of stage one of the project.”