Freight solution steams ahead
THE sight of hundreds of trucks passing through Coffs Harbour could be significantly reduced by a $10 billion project to put more of the nation's freight on rail.
That's the promise of the Federal Government's proposed Inland Rail Project that would connect NSW with South-East Queensland and Victoria.
A delivery plan released last week outlines how the 1700km route would ease pressure on road infrastructure by diverting freight demands from coastal routes.
It has been welcomed by Member for Cowper Luke Hartsuyker, who said the project was the best option to meet the "freight challenge" of the future.
"Freight requirements are expected to treble along the eastern seaboard between now and 2030," Mr Hartsuyker said.
"If this (project) doesn't happen, our roads will not be able to sustain our freight requirements as the economy grows."
The Pacific Hwy freight corridor generates around 75% of Australia's GDP and is responsible for more than $260 billion in annual commodity exports.
The project would reduce the transport distance between Melbourne and Brisbane by 200km.
The government will consider the delivery plan in the context of the 2016 Federal Budget.