More than $11 million in Inland Rail contracts awarded
08 March 2016
The Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) has awarded more than $11 million in contracts in recent weeks to progress planning on the Inland Rail project. The contracts include a range of crucial field studies and environmental assessments across three states.
Announcing the contracts during a visit to the ARTC today, the Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Darren Chester, said the contracts are for the provision of Technical and Engineering Advisory Services and discrete parcels of engineering and environmental consultancy across the alignment.
“Inland Rail is now in the planning and environmental approvals phase and ARTC and its consultants will commence critical field studies along the alignment over the coming weeks,” Mr Chester said.
“A joint venture of SMEC and Arup has won the Technical and Engineering Advisory contact and will provide a team of subject matter experts who will significantly bolster the resources of ARTC's Inland Rail team.
“This is vital work that the Government committed to ensure Inland Rail is construction ready,” Mr Chester said
A further six contracts have been awarded to leading consultancies, GHD Pty Ltd, Parsons Brinkerhoff, AECOM, ARUP and Jacobs for the initial environmental investigations and engineering design for each of the projects in the programme.
“The consultancies will work alongside our existing Inland Rail team, gathering environmental data, talking to communities and further developing designs to enable ARTC to take each of these projects to the relevant planning agencies for initial assessment later this year,” Mr Chester said.
“This will then help to set terms of reference for the formal Environmental Impact Assessments required for the programme to progress through the planning assessment process.”
This latest development follows Infrastructure Australia naming Inland Rail as a priority initiative on the newly updated Infrastructure Priority List.
“Inland Rail is a game-changer for Australia as it is being designed to provide a dedicated Melbourne to Brisbane freight link that is reliable and provides a less than 24 hour transit time at an attractive price, enabling the market to move goods when the market wants,” Mr Chester said.
“Inland Rail will boost regional economic growth and drive national productivity as it will connect key production areas in Queensland, NSW and Victoria with export ports in Brisbane and Melbourne, with linkages to Sydney, Adelaide and Perth.”