Environmental approval gives Inland Rail green light in Northern NSW

The Australian Government is set to break ground on the next section of the Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail following approval of the Narrabri to North Star Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack welcomed the approval, providing further certainty on Inland Rail’s delivery and the significant local jobs and investment the freight rail line will bring.

“People have been talking about Inland Rail line for more than a century and this Liberal and Nationals Government is making it a reality,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.

“Inland Rail will play a key role in getting our economy back on track because it means more people in jobs and it means more productivity for so many industries and local businesses.

“On the Parkes to Narromine section, 1,800 jobs were supported and more than $109 million was spent with 99 local businesses – we’re looking forward to seeing Northern New South Wales enjoy similar benefits soon with construction on this section starting later this year.”

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said Inland Rail would deliver many benefits to New South Wales, both in the short and over the longer term, by facilitating increased local business investment, substantial improvements to our freight network and the creation of more new jobs.

“Inland Rail will support more than 5,000 jobs in New South Wales during construction and as each section is completed, more fast and reliable rail services will become available to industry and regional producers across Australia,” Minister Cormann said.

“Large scale infrastructure projects are a key driver of growth – driving investment, boosting economic development, creating many news jobs and opportunities for local businesses.”

Minister for Regional Health, Regional Communications and Local Government and Federal Member for Parkes, Mark Coulton welcomed the approval and encouraged local communities to engage with the project to make the most of the local construction opportunities.

“Inland Rail will be a game changer in Northern NSW and there are endless opportunities for local businesses to take advantage of the next stage of construction between Narrabri and North Star,” Minister Coulton said.

“The first recently completed section – Parkes to Narromine – provided a significant boost to businesses across a range of industries, including concrete supply, transportation, fencing, earthmoving, accommodation, hospitality and security in what has been a difficult time for many rural businesses with drought, fires and now COVID-19.

“Northern NSW has a proud history of agricultural excellence – the long term benefits of this transformational project will better connect our region to east coast ports and create new supply chains to better move the produce and products we are famous for.”

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