The Parkes to Narromine section of the once-in-a-generation Inland Rail project is one step closer, thanks to the more than $300million construction contract signed for the first section of the 1,700-kilometre rail line.
Deputy Prime Minister, Nationals’ Leader and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the Australian Government is excited to see preparation for construction on this project, and eager to see the jobs and opportunities it will deliver for regional Australia.
“Inland Rail is a transformational freight rail line and we’re already seeing millions of dollars in Australian Government investment making a difference to communities,” Mr McCormack said.
“Earlier this year we saw 14,000 tonnes of steel rail from Whyalla delivered and concrete sleepers from the Southern Highlands have been arriving every week since April, with almost 100,000 delivered so far.
“This year the Australian Government has signed bilateral agreements with New South Wales and Victoria, and we are seeing the benefits already flowing in those states. We are working with the Queensland Government to finalise a bilateral agreement and realise the significant benefits which will flow to Queensland.”
Minister for Finance and the Public Service Mathias Cormann said that the commencement of construction is the next step in the Australian Government addressing Australia’s long-term freight challenges and boosting metropolitan and regional economies.
“In New South Wales alone Inland Rail will boost the Gross State Product by $2.6billion and create around 5,000 direct and indirect jobs during construction and into operation. We are already seeing jobs for regional communities in New South Wales as well as complementary investment in towns along the route, such as the $50million Parkes National Logistics Hub,” Senator Cormann said.
Assistant Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment and Federal Member for Parkes Mark Coulton said the Government understands the importance of regional jobs and opportunities.
“Around the Parkes electorate we are committed to helping create local jobs and opportunities through Inland Rail,” Mr Coulton said.
“This means local communities, small businesses and farmers can take advantage of the employment and economic opportunities of the project. We’re working with the ARTC to maximise Inland Rail’s local and Indigenous employment and procurement outcomes.
“An Australian Government Project Facilitator is working with the ARTC and INLink to open the door for local businesses, communities and job-seekers on the ground to get on board with the opportunities this project presents.
“Right here in the Parkes electorate there will be local opportunities for concrete supply services, transportation, fencing, earthmoving, drainage, electrical works, concrete works, security and water bore drilling.”
A joint-venture between BMD Constructions and Fulton Hogan trading as INLink has been selected as the contractor for the Parkes to Narromine section and will deliver the first section of Inland Rail.