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Anderson establishes Federal Government support committee for Melbourne to Darwin Railway.

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Media Release


John Anderson

Minister for Transport and Regional Services




17 March 1999



The Federal Government today announced it has established a high level committee to help facilitate development of the proposed Melbourne to Darwin inland railway.


The Minister for Transport and Regional Services, John Anderson, said the committee would advise him on progress with the project, identify any barriers to its development and advise on what role the Commonwealth should play in its facilitation.


The committee is to be chaired by the Member for Longman, Mal Brough. Other members are the Member for Parkes, Tony Lawler, and the Member for Groom, Ian Macfarlane.


“I commend Mr Everald Compton and his fellow directors of the Australian Transport and Energy Corridor Pty Ltd (ATEC) who are driving this exciting and innovative concept,” he said.


ATEC has proposed the creation a transport and energy corridor of size sufficient to carry a double track standard gauge rail expressway, a four lane road highway, a natural gas pipeline, electric power cables, a water pipeline and fibre optic cables.


“This visionary project has the potential to deliver major benefits to Australia and its regions by putting producers in closer contact with markets both here and overseas, and greatly enhance service delivery and competitiveness in inland Australia.”


Last year, the Prime Minister said the Government stood ready to facilitate this project with all Commonwealth processes to be finalised as efficiently as possible.


The Prime Minister also indicated that if a need was established, the Government would pass legislation to facilitate the project.


Mr Anderson said ATEC had proposed the creation by governments of an Australian Inland Trust to acquire the corridor on behalf of the nation. He said the new committee would be asked to investigate the proposal and report back to him.


Media contact: Paul Chamberlin 02 62777680 / 0419 233989

Editors note: Pictures of committee members with the Minister available.