Capital city industry rail should come to Gladstone: Joyce
ON his first day as Australia's acting Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce was spruiking industry opportunities for Gladstone.
During his four-city tour of Queensland, including Gladstone, Mr Joyce said he would like to see the inland rail line from Melbourne to Brisbane extended north to our city.
"That connects all of those precincts, coal, cotton and wheat to Gladstone," Mr Joyce said.
"We've talked about the rail line from Gladstone to the Banana Shire but what we should be doing is pushing for Gladstone to be connected to the inland rail."
To make his thought a reality, heavy government funding and improvements to the Gladstone port including a second channel would be needed.
Speaking to The Observer after a funding announcement, he said it was important for residents to stay positive through the recent industrial downturn.
"It's cyclical. The biggest mistake you can make in life is thinking if prices are good, they'll stay good.
"The infrastructure is permanent. The worst thing you could do is drive investment away."
The visit had Flynn MP Ken O'Dowd all smiles, pronouncing that it was just Mr Joyce's first day in the top job and he was already in our city.
Politics aside, the acting PM said, if given the chance, he would seal a third road across the country, support the development of more dams and roll out the tracks for the inland rail line.
"It'd certainly make me a happy man," Mr O'Dowd said.
"I'm sure a second channel in Gladstone would also be top of his agenda.
"I know that would make Ken very happy so I'd definitely support that," Mr Joyce added. Mr Joyce will also celebrate his 49th birthday on Sunday.
"Unfortunately I have to go back to Canberra. I just want to spend some time with my family, that's it. I just want to sit around with my family and watch a stupid movie."
Mr Joyce is acting PM while Malcom Turnbull is in China.