FAIR GO: Tracy Dobie, Senator Matt Canavan and David Littleproud.
FAIR GO: Tracy Dobie, Senator Matt Canavan and David Littleproud. Molly Glassey

Queensland Senator supports inland rail via Warwick

THEY are from different tiers of government but Southern Downs Mayor Tracy Dobie and Senator Matt Canavan agree on one thing - Warwick should be included in the proposed inland rail route.

The Federal Government will spend $594 million on researching and acquiring land for an inland rail, connecting Brisbane to Melbourne.

"I think it would be absurd if they invest all this money on inland rail and leave this area stranded," Mr Canavan said.

"It's got to be connected to whatever is done."

Mayor Tracy Dobie agreed, saying there were countless reasons why the inland rail's route could be best served in our region.

"We have an existing line in place," she said.

"And we have a large amount of produce we move out of this region each year, in fact $686 million worth."

Mr Canavan said given this was a national project, the nation's best interests would be paramount to those of individual regions.

"In saying that, I spoke with the minister's office before coming here this afternoon, and they are very opening to considering alternatives," he said.

"The current route is only the preferred option."

Mr Canavan said it would be up to local councils to rally support to get Australian Rail Track Corporation's eyes on Warwick. "I've encouraged council here this evening to get their skates on and get in touch with people in the private sector," Mr Canavan said.

"There are people on the ground who are interested in this, and I've told them to push Warwick's case.

"If support stacks up, and makes sense, it's got every chance of getting away."

Cr Dobie said Warwick's inclusion in the inland rail route would open up future travel and transport options for residents.

"It won't be stopping in towns. It's going to be a through route, from Melbourne to Brisbane, with maybe three stops along the way," she explained.

"But, we've got to think 25, 30 years down the track when our region has grown in population.

"That's going to be a lot of people looking to fly in and out of the Wellcamp airport."

She said Warwick needed rail to a viable transport option. "We want to keep our hub here open so that we can continue to transport produce and people," she said.