Key political leaders are talking up the benefits of Inland Rail to NW New South Wales.
Major construction work has commenced on the Inland Rail section from Narrabri to North Star in north west New South Wales, signalling the start of hundreds of opportunities for local workers.
Federal MP for Parkes and minister for regional health, regional communications and local government Mark Coulton was in Gurley recently to meet with machine operators, engineers and other construction workers and said Inland Rail provided the platform for a new wave of prosperity in the region.
“It’s an exciting day to see the major construction begin on this Narrabri to North Star section of the Inland Rail, particularly for the local workers involved in the project,” Coulton said.
“The construction of Inland Rail from Narrabri to North Star will directly employ 500 people, with many others to follow for sub-contractors and businesses in the area. These works will bring economic stimulus to the regional communities of Narrabri, Bellata, Moree and North Star.
“The Australian Rail Track Corporation and its construction partners have been busy engaging the local community over the past few months to ensure the local workforce is in a position to benefit from the construction of Inland Rail.
“Today, I met with locals who have taken the opportunity to get involved with Inland Rail and work on the delivery of a major piece of infrastructure that will provide long-term benefits for our region.”
Deputy PM and infrastructure minister Michael McCormack hailed Inland Rail as hugely significant to regional Australia.
“Inland Rail is undoubtedly a game changer, regional Australians who live and work locally need world-class transport and logistics to get their products to market, and the Australian Government has delivered,” McCormack said.
“Inland Rail is establishing a 1,700km corridor of commerce that offers social and economic opportunities for regional Australia – we saw the opportunities that came from the first completed section of Inland Rail, between Parkes and Narromine, and now these benefits will now be felt in the North West.
“For some Inland Rail will be a once-in-a-generation opportunity, at the peak of construction more than 21,500 people will work on Inland Rail and I know many locals will be proud to look back in the years to come and say they were a part of it.”
Finance Minister Simon Birmingham said Inland Rail was a critical infrastructure investment that would boost the Australian economy.
“The investment we make in Inland Rail is an investment in supply chains, the Australian economy and the workforce that will drive our recovery,” Birmingham said.
“Inland Rail’s fast, reliable and cost-competitive freight will increase the safety and efficiency of the national freight network and ensure Australian businesses remain globally competitive – once complete Inland Rail will deliver cost savings for all Australians who rely on freight for the food they eat, the clothes they wear and the furnishings in their homes and offices.”
The Australian Rail Track Corporation is to build the $700 million Phase one section of Inland Rail between Narrabri and North Star – length of track 171km.
Delivered on site so far:
- 341,225 concrete sleepers – each sleeper weighs 231kgs – for a total of 78,800 tonnes
- 116,396 concrete sleepers from Mittagong
- 224,939 sleepers from Wagga Wagga
- 2,474 165-metre long lengths of steel from Whyalla (approx. 25,775 tonnes of rail).