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06 December 2019 

TCO Gazette Links

News Headlines

Bilateral Agreement on Inland Rail
A bilateral agreement was signed late last month by the Australian and Queensland governments, ensuring Queensland's future growth is supported by a sturdy freight rail network.

“The bilateral agreement is backed by the federal government’s $9.3 billion commitment to deliver Inland Rail and is part of the broader $25 billion commitment we’ve made to road and rail projects across Queensland,” Minister for transport Mr McCormack said.

The Inland Rail will lead to more than 7,000 jobs and provide a $7 billion boost to Queensland’s economy, and with every dollar being invested into Inland rail, a return of $2.62 will be given back to the national economy.

“Modelling by the CSIRO shows an average saving of $76 per tonne for horticulture and post-processed food when shifted onto the double-stacked trains. The data is clear – Inland Rail is a game-changer for regional Australia.”

Queensland Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said that the agreement reached with the Australian Government provides protection for Queenslanders and would see close to $2 billion in joint-funding fast-tracked for road and rail projects across the state.

“The delivery of Inland Rail in Queensland is a huge win for the state, providing jobs and opportunities to communities,” Mr Bailey said.

“This deal will see us work with the federal government on business cases for passenger rail services from Salisbury to Beaudesert, Brisbane to Toowoomba and a dedicated rail freight line to the Port of Brisbane."

“This includes a better understanding the expected freight demand on the line into the future and identifying opportunities for intermodal terminals at Ebenezer and Bromelton to assist in managing the freight task.”

All parties have also agreed to establish an international panel to advise on the modelling of potential flood impacts and continuing community consultation along the project’s chosen route through Queensland.

45’HQ Containers for Sale
Tomax is currently facilitating the sale of two sea-worthy (air and water tight) 45 foot high cube containers. If you need additional covered storage space in your yard or could utilise these containers for domestic transport please contact us to make an offer to purchase either one or both of these containers. A full array of photos and information is available on request. Expressions of interest can be sent to chris@tomax.com.au

Largest Onshore Ice Seizure
Two men and a woman have been arrested and charged in relation to Australia's largest ever onshore methamphetamine seizure, worth more than a billion dollars.

Back in April this year at Melbourne Container Examination Facility, x-ray technology detected anomalies inside a container declared as speakers from Thailand. During further inspection of the sea cargo, Australian Border Force (ABF) officers discovered vacuum-seal packages concealed within the speakers, upon which further testing revealed a positive indication for methamphetamine and heroin.

In total, 1,596 tonnes of methamphetamine and 37 kilograms of heroin (a total of 1633 kgs) were detected, with an estimated street value of $1.197 billion and $18.5 million respectively.

The Australian Federal Police executed search warrants at properties in Darley, Sunshine West, Brooklyn, Elwood and Murrumbeena throughout the day on Wednesday 4 December 2019. Two men and a woman were arrested and charged with importing a commercial quantity of two border controlled drugs, namely methamphetamine and heroin.

AFP Deputy Commissioner Neil Gaughan praised the tireless work of officers within the ABF and AFP for preventing over 1.6 tonnes of illicit drugs from reaching the Australian community, with this being the largest ice haul seen in Australia to date and the largest seizure of heroin since 2017.

“Australian law enforcement agencies are committed to combatting the hold organised crime has on Australia to keep dangerous drugs off our streets and out of our homes,” he said.

“It will be alleged that two of the three suspects charged are trusted industry insiders, and that this joint operation has identified and removed serious vulnerabilities from the Melbourne waterfront – and we could not have done this without the support and assistance of the public.”

“In addition, under Taskforce Storm joint arrangements, the AFP has shared intelligence with Thai authorities on this matter in accordance with relevant guidelines, resulting in them conducting their own investigation, which is currently ongoing.”

China's Demand for Australian Wood
A newly released report confirms that China remains the primary market for Australian wood product exports.

The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences report released last month showed continued growth in Australia's forestry sector via strong export performance.

“Overseas demand for woodchips, sourced mainly from Australia’s commercial hardwood plantations, remains strong with woodchips exports growing by 19% to reach $1.6 billion in 2018–19,” ABARES acting executive director, Peter Gooday said.

“Exports of Australia’s paper and paperboard products increased to over $1 billion."

“China is Australia’s largest trading partner for wood products and the Chinese market accounted for 70% of total wood product export growth in 2018−19."

“In fact, nearly half of Australia’s wood product exports went to China, a market now worth $1.9 billion.”

“Exports of Australia’s wood products were higher than ever in 2018–19, increasing for the sixth consecutive year to reach a record $3.9 billion. This increase came on the back of record high exports of woodchips, paper, paperboard and roundwood.”

Mr Gooday said Australia’s consumption of overseas wood products in 2018−19 also increased, to $5.9 billion, driven by growth in imports of paper and paperboard products, and miscellaneous forest products.

Red Imported Fire Ant Attacks Fremantle
Western Australian authorities are on high alert after red imported fire ants were detected at Fremantle port and surroundings.

The highly invasive ant species is native to South America, and is considered one of the world's most invasive ants as they have the ability to form super colonies with multiple queens that develop and can spread quickly and are harmful to humans.

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development has treated several linked nests at Fremantle Port to destroy the ants and prevent further spread. They are also surveying the port and surroundings for any signs of more red imported fire ants.

According to the Department, red imported fire ants resemble common native ants, are reddish brown with a darker abdomen, and between two to six millimetres long. They are said to come in an unusual variety of sizes. They can also inflict a painful, fiery sting.

Fremantle Port workers, local residents and businesses are being asked to be alert and report any unfamiliar ants in the area.

Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan said this was the first time red imported fire ants had been found in WA.

“The pest poses a significant threat to the environment, agriculture, the economy, human health and Australia’s outdoor lifestyle,” Ms MacTiernan said.

Friday Funnies
We can't guarantee these jokes are funny but we hope they'll get you into the Christmas spirit!

What do you call a snowman with a sixpack?

An Abdominal Snowman

What did the peanut butter say to the grape on Christmas?

Tis' the season to be jelly!

Why do Dasher and Dancer love coffee?

Because they're Santa's best star bucks.

What does the Gingerbread Man use to make his bed?

Cookie sheets!

How do you lift a frozen car?

With a Jack Frost

What would you call an elf who just has won the lottery?