Parkes is set to be the epicentre of regional growth and opportunity with the opening of the $35 million Parkes Logistics Terminal by Pacific National, joining SCT Logistics and Linfox to connect to the Liberal and Nationals Government’s $9.3 billion investment in the Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack was onsite for the opening of the new Logistics Terminal, the private sector investment that will enhance productivity from Inland Rail and bring an additional 90 jobs based at the Terminal.
“The Nationals have been driving the Inland Rail agenda for decades, knowing this nation-building project would be pivotal for regional farmers and small businesses and now we are delivering it. This is a game-changer for Australian freight,” Mr McCormack said.
“Construction started on the Parkes to Narromine leg of Inland Rail almost one year ago and already it has proven a boom for local small businesses while also creating almost 900 new jobs-370 of which are local people.
“Building Inland Rail is the impetus our regions need to see critical investment in their communities, supporting future growth and opportunities, the likes of which have not been seen in decades.
“I am so excited about this nation-building project because it opens opportunities for farmers and regional businesses that would otherwise not be possible and Parkes is brilliantly geographically located to be the epicentre of Inland Rail’s success.
“As industry’s confidence in Inland Rail grows there will be more investment in our regions supporting local jobs and opportunities, as well as faster, more efficient freight and supply chains that help build end to end benefits for producers and consumers.
“Australia’s freight network gets petrol to our service stations, fresh food to our supermarkets and medicines to our hospitals and chemists.”
Minister for Finance Mathias Cormann said the Inland Rail project will help ensure a more resilient economy and support regional businesses.
“Inland Rail will provide long term economic returns for regional Australia and benefit our national economy by moving freight to markets more efficiently and at lower costs,” Senator Cormann said.
Minister for Regional Services, Decentralisation and Local Government Mark Coulton said regional Australia is uniquely placed to support private sector investment in our communities.
“Parkes is a perfect example of the significant opportunities that regional communities offer industry,” Mr Coulton said.
“By improving connectivity between major cities and regional areas, we are opening the regions to new investment and enterprise opportunities and putting in place the building blocks of a stronger, more resilient, decentralised national economy.
“The unique location of Parkes at the intersection of the East-West line connecting Sydney and Perth and the Newell Highway will put 80 per cent of Australia’s population in reach of the Parkes Terminal overnight.
“It’s no wonder major employers like Pacific National would choose to invest in a regional community like Parkes.”
The North-West Link is already in operation and as more of Inland Rail comes online in the mid-2020s, the national freight rail network will be connected to all mainland state capital cities and major ports, with the Logistics Terminal ideally situated to take advantage of the fast, efficient and cost-competitive Melbourne to Brisbane rail connection.
New South Wales Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole said Parkes was ideally positioned at one of the key freight crossroads in Australia to become an inland port.
“The NSW Government wants to see Parkes reach its potential as a freight and logistics hub that will bring regional suppliers closer to their customers and help regional NSW take its product intrastate, interstate and international faster,” Mr Toole said.
“Our government’s announcement in February of Parkes as the State’s first Special Activation Precinct will support that vision and encourage more businesses to take advantage of the opportunities presented by this hub, particularly its connection to Inland Rail.
“This hub is testament to what can be achieved when three levels of government-Federal, State and Local-work together with industry to undertake good development and planning that considers what our regions need now and in the long-term.
“Pacific National’s investment in Parkes demonstrates what our government has always known, that regional New South Wales is ripe for industry investment and we look forward to seeing more industry get on board as Inland Rail rolls out across our State.”