Steelworkers in South Australia will manufacture 147,000 tonnes of steel for key rail projects across Australia, including the nation-building Inland Rail, providing an important economic boost for the state.
The Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) has signed a contract worth $292 million with Liberty Primary Steel for the supply of heavy duty rail that will support 1,500 jobs in the coming years.
The Whyalla-based business will soon start rolling more than 147,000 tonnes of steel rail under the contract, including more than 110,000 tonnes for the remaining sections of Inland Rail.
The contract will also support upgrades between Narrabri and Turrawan, a vital connection between Inland Rail and the Hunter Valley coal network, and the Southern Highlands line in New South Wales.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Barnaby Joyce said the latest contract further highlights how Inland Rail is already benefitting Australia.
“Rail infrastructure keeps Australia moving and our economy growing, which is why we’re getting projects like Inland Rail done,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.
“Inland Rail will further strengthen our freight network, keeping supply chains open, providing exporters with better access to international markets and creating jobs and economic opportunties for businesses.
“This $292 million contract is a vote of confidence in Australian manufacturing, ensuring the high-quality steel needed to bring Inland Rail to life is made by Australians for the benefit of Australians.”
Finance Minister and Senator for South Australia Simon Birmingham said the multi-million dollar contract would be an enourmous boost for Whyalla, delivering a pipeline of jobs and economic activity.
“South Australian-made steel is among the highest quality in the world, which makes it only right for it to be used for the construction of Inland Rail and our national freight network.
“I’m pleased that South Australians will continue making such a significant contribution to Australia’s major infrastructure projects that are a catalyst for jobs and economic stimulus across Australia.
“The infrastructure we are delivering through ARTC, including Inland Rail, will benefit future generations and the industries that will drive this country forward.”
Liberty Primary Steel has previously supplied steel for Inland Rail, including contracts worth $51 million for the Parkes to Narromine and Narrabri to North Star sections of the project.
Federal Member for Grey Rowan Ramsey said rail orders rolling into Whyalla is good news for the region.
“Those orders in the period soon after GFG Alliance took ownership were vitally important to the survival of the steelworks,” Mr Ramsey said.
“In recent times the facility has returned to profit and I am confident this profitability will result in the investment we require to ensure the steelworks’ long-term viability.
“These continuing Government orders help form the foundations of the future and are a demonstration of the Federal Government’s commitment to ensure we continue to make steel in Australia.”