First public hearing of multi-billion infrastructure project to be held in Canberra

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The Australian Citizens Party announced that the first public hearing for Project Iron Boomerang, one of the largest infrastructure projects ever planned in Australia, will take place this week on Friday in Canberra, where senators from the Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Committee will be meeting.

Iron Boomerang is a multifaceted infrastructure project with a $100 billion price tag, the party said in a media release.

The first stage of the project would result in a 3300-kilometre rail line from Western Australia to Queensland, a fleet of 180 gas-electric locomotives, 10 state-of-the-art steel mills, 50-70 custom-built ships, and a plethora of infrastructure components along the route.

Five steel mills would be constructed near Newman in WA, and another five would be constructed near Abbott Point in Queensland. 

A 3300-kilometre rail line would connect the two, transporting iron ore east to QLD and coking coal west to WA.

After the first stage is finished, Australia may manufacture 44 million tonnes of steel yearly, moving it into second place in the world for steel exports, according to the party.

It was also reported that only three per cent of the annual global demand for steel would be represented by this.

Writing in a submission to the inquiry, Shane Condon, the project’s managing director and founder, predicts that the initiative, when fully operational, may increase Australia’s GDP by more than AUD 1 trillion by 2040. 

This estimate represents the entire economic activity brought about by the export of steel, rail and ship freight, increased mining activity, and spin-off companies that make use of byproducts of the steel-making process like cement and fertiliser.

Almost 35,000 people are permanently employed by the transcontinental train line, which also helps Australia’s declining manufacturing industry by opening up distant areas of the country, the party explained.

Meanwhile, Senator Malcolm Roberts of One Nation, who moved the resolution creating the inquiry, criticized earlier administrations for their failure to support the initiative.

“Project Iron Boomerang offers a chance to change that future to bring prosperity to Aboriginal communities, Australian communities, northern Australia communities,” the senator remarked. 

Labour senator Glenn Sterle strongly endorsed the inquiry in response to Senator Roberts’ motion.

“We actually used to make our own steel. We used to have proud steel cities, where there were communities, there were bonds and there were families, before all this ‘fly-in, fly-out’ nonsense took over. It was before the farm was sold—if I can use the terminology of a farm. It breaks my heart to think, as I’m watching my grandchildren grow up, how disgusted they should be with the politicians before us who thought it was a good idea to contract out work we used to do and we did well,” Sterle noted. 

Since 2006, Project Iron Boomerang has been developed and advertised by the for-profit East West Line Parks.

Shane Condon has presented the initiative to a variety of groups, including state and federal governments. 

According to the party, this is the first time the project has been the exclusive subject of a Federal Parliament investigation.