Last week at the Australian Federation of International Forwarder's (AFIF) annual conference in Brisbane, Port of Brisbane chief operating officer Peter Keyte spoke in regards to the federal budget's boost of $8.4bn for the Inland Rail infrastructure project, which he believes suffers from a hamartia.
In his speech, Keyte outlined several key problems of the instructure project including its lack of connection to the Port of Brisbane, instead using the Acacia Ridge Rail Terminal.
This means that freight will have to ran from the Acacia Ridge to the Port of Brisbane, "that rail corridor runs through the urban corridor; the urban corridor is full of passenger trains; and those passenger trains are electrified."
"Someone tell me how you can get a double stacked train through an electrified network. You can't."
Mr Keyte continued noting that the urban rail network has a cap of 10m tonnes of coal, yet the business case for Inland Rail projected a movement of 19.3m tonnes of coal, making the projected increase nullified.
"Inland Rail is great, but unless it connects to the port, unless they do that last 20 kilometres, it's fatally flawed."
Mr Keyte stated that the thing that most hurt the ports was the lack of connectivity that would heavily impact the supply chain, noting that less than 4% of all cargo into and out of the Port of Brisbane was a product of rail transport.
According to Keyte the future of rail is extremely uncertain without the Inland Rail project fixing its key flaws.