Federal-State partnership bolsters Portlink project says Crook
Posted on Friday, 16 March 2012
NATIONALS WA Federal Member for O’Connor, Tony Crook MP has convinced the Federal Government to partner with the State Government for the crucial planning phase of the nation-building Portlink Inland Freight Corridor Plan (Portlink) project.
Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister, Anthony Albanese, confirmed the Australian Government’s support with a $2 million commitment towards the Portlink Planning Studies (Phase 1) project.
The money for the Portlink study was pledged today during Mr Albanese’s visit to Esperance for the Over the Horizon business and industry forum.
The Federal Government funding follows the allocation of $5 million to Portlink planning through the Royalties for Regions program.
Mr Crook welcomed the Federal Government’s decision to enter into a partnership and he hoped additional funding would allow planning for an intermodal freight terminal in Kalgoorlie and a sealed road link between Wiluna and the Great Northern Highway to be accelerated.
"This initial investment is an important signal from the Federal Government and I believe it will lead to a more significant State-Commonwealth partnership when the planning phase identifies the best options and final cost estimates," Mr Crook said.
"Portlink is a very significant regional infrastructure development, and I am pleased to be able to use my leverage in the Federal Parliament for this nation-building project.
"It’s great to see real progression on Portlink, following Minister Albanese’s visit to my electorate last year."
Minister Albanese told participants at the Over the Horizon forum that the Portlink project had been at least two decades in the making.
Mr Crook said the Portlink project was a multi-staged project designed to establish an intermodal freight terminal in Kalgoorlie and link the five major ports in Western Australia to the eastern seaboard.
Phase I of the project would see the establishment of an intermodal freight terminal at Kalgoorlie where freight can be off-loaded from rail and road-hauled to and from the Murchison and Pilbara.
Ultimately a heavy rail link is envisaged to connect the Esperance Port, Kalgoorlie and the Pilbara with a cross-link to Oakajee Port at Geraldton.
While in Esperance, Minister Albanese also marked the commencement of work on the $120 million Port Access Corridor, a jointly funded State-Federal project.