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Trans-Regional Amalgamated Infrastructure Network (TRAIN)


Trans-Regional Amalgamated Infrastructure Network (TRAIN)

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									                                                                  Submission Number: 168
                                                                  Date Received: 28/08/09

   Trans-Regional Amalgamated Infrastructure Network


On 4 August the House of Representative Standing Committee on Infrastructure,
Transport, Local Government and Regional Development received a
presentation on TRAIN as part of the enquiry into the effects of the global
Financial Crisis on Regional Australia. This paper provides further information
and has been prepared at the invitation of the committee.

Overview of TRAIN

TRAIN is a regional recovery initiative of National significance that straddles the
NSW - Qld State border that will deliver solid economic, social and environmental
results. This will be achieved through the creation of new jobs, the economic
development of a relatively depressed area of regional Australia and through
reducing carbon emissions from freight between NSW and Queensland. The
TRAIN vision focuses on development of the area along the interstate road and
rail corridor north from Coffs Harbour, through Grafton, along the Summerland
Way, through the Bromelton State Development Area to Acacia Ridge in
southern Brisbane, west to Warwick and east to Lismore. It will have positive
results for road and rail freight to and from Brisbane including freight through the
port of Brisbane and Toowoomba. It will also have many spin off benefits
including reduced urban congestion in Brisbane and through the Gold Coast by
enhancing the role of interstate rail and providing more efficient options to
interstate trucks that allow them to avoid urban areas including the restricted
Gold Coast corridor and areas of suburban Brisbane.

TRAIN builds on many, long standing proposals and draws them together in a
coordinated way the will better deliver real regional benefits. The proposal has
very strong support for all Local Authorities and from State and Federal
members. The key elements of TRAIN are
   « Upgrade of the Summerland Way and the Mt Lindsay Highway between
       Coffs Harbour and Beaudesert.
   • Construction of the Mt Lindsay Road between Legume and Woodenbong
   » Construction of the Cunningham Rail link to connect the proposed inland
       standard gauge rail at Warwick to the existing NSW/QLD intestate
       standard gauge rail.
   • Completion of reservoirs and water reuse facilities across the TRAIN
       triangle in South East Queensland and Northern New South Wales to
       support development and agriculture with a sustainable water footprint for
       the future.

Progress of TRAIN Stage 1

Several reports have been written that provide detail on the scope and potential
benefits of this proposal. This has been complimented by comprehensive
consultation with and through many special purpose groups and standing
committees at the local level. Many political representatives at all levels of
Government have also now received briefings on TRAIN. So far the progress
and completion of stage 1 has been 100% privately funded.


Government financial support is needed to take the next step for TRAIN. At the
Committee's hearing on 4 August 2009 $25m was suggested as the level of
Government investment needed to complete a full feasibility report, including cost
benefit and project specifications. This money would be needed over a five year
period. Questions remaining from the hearing, and to which this paper responds,
    • What project management structure would be most appropriate to ensure
       the efficient, transparent and effective completion of the next stage of
    » What specific studies and reports would be produced i.e. how would the
       money be spent?

Management Structure

This Regional Development initiative would be led by the TRAIN Advisory Group
(TAG). The TAG would be responsible for
   • Scoping study requirements, nominating appropriate qualified and
      experienced professionals and ensuring requisite outcomes are delivered
   • Sequencing of projects and ensuring all linkages between projects are
      indentified and managed
   « Communication regarding TRAIN including community consultation either
      directly with the community or, preferably, by working to support existing
      community groups
   • Reporting progress to all stakeholders, including the Australian

Membership of the TAG would include senior representatives from
  • Business
  » The community
  • Three levels of government

Nation Building Australia Pty Ltd (NBA) would be the legal entity that would
support the TAG and act on their advice. NBA would be the custodian of the
TRAIN funds. This private company has been created for this purpose as the

special purpose vehicle by which allocated funds can be managed and
committed with transparency and in accordance with all legal contracts etc.
Current Directors of NBA currently are
   * David Cooke, Tre Developments
   ® Hal Morris, Company Director
Other eminent Australians would be invited to join the NBA Board.

It is envisaged that NBA would contract with the Commonwealth (in terms to be
agreed) to undertake a pre-feasibility in accordance with the advice given by the
TAG. It is expected that a contract similar to that already used by the
Commonwealth for the appointment of lead consultants would be implemented.

NBA would act as a consultant to the Commonwealth as the Pre-feasibility

The contractual arrangements would of course address a range of standard
consultancy matters but might also include alternative provisions specifically
dealing with:

   * Pre-feasibility program and reporting;
   « Pre-feasibility methodology;
   * Allocation of funds and draw down arrangements; and
   « Intellectual property.

In its capacity as Pre-feasibility Manager, NBA would appoint a consultancy team
to undertake the key investigations required to complete the prefeasibility stage
and, through an appointed project manager, would manage the delivery of the
prefeasibility report to government.

Stage 2 of TRAIN

A lot of work has already been done that is relevant to the TRAIN concept. The
philosophy of TRAIN has been to draw together existing initiative and build on
current work. Equally, however, it is recognised that TRAIN is a big idea that
covers a large region of Australia.

The final detail of the specific projects and studies to be completed and their
sequencing over the five years of Stage 2 of TRAIN will be determined by the
TAG. It is anticipated, however, that they will include projects such as

TRAIN Element                                                             $m
  ® Upgrade Summerland Way and Mt Lindsay Road                            $15.5
        o Confirmation of priority infrastructure projects
        o Sequencing of projects
        o Fast tracking of new bridge or bypass at Grafton
        o Re routing Summerland Way near Mt Lindsay

   ® Build Cunningham Road and Rail Link                        $3.5
        o Investigating linkage with inland standard gauge rail
            proposals and the upgrade of the Mt Lindsay Road
        o Proposals to ATRC as their works progress on current
            interstate Standard Gage rail line

   •    Deliver Water projects                                             $2.0
           o Identify TRAIN implications on water requirements from
               residential, agricultural and industrial development in the
               TRAIN area
           o Report on linkages to SEQ Water grid and NSW Water

   *    Integrated Planning                                               $1.5
            o Linkages with Qld Freight Plan and SEQ Regional Plan
            o Linkages with NSW planning

   •    Project Management                                                $2.5
           o Communication and consultation
           o TRAIN Management costs

Total                                                                     $25


The TRAIN proposal is an opportunity to deliver major, tangible benefits to
regional Australia in minimum time. Private funding has taken the vision to the
point where strong, broad-based support for the proposal has been committed in
a way that may be unprecedented in Australia. Federal Government funds are
now needed to take the next step.

The paper proposes a simple, effect and transparent structure for project
management and provides further detail on the specific elements that will be
delivered in the next stage.


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