Inland Rail powering ahead in NSW

Media Release

DC118/2017

12 May 2017

Joint release with:

Mark Coulton

Federal Member for Parkes

  • The 2017-18 Budget includes $8.4 billion to deliver the Inland Rail project
  • The Parkes to Narromine section of Inland Rail prioritised, with construction to start later next financial year
  • An estimated 16,000 jobs will be created at peak construction, with the project set to return $480 million to the Central and North West NSW economy

Residents and business owners in the NSW Central and North West are set to reap the rewards of the Australian Government’s $8.4 billion investment toward the Inland Rail project in the 2017-18 Budget.

Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester said the once-in-a-generation Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail project would connect regional communities with domestic and global markets, safeguarding the nation’s prosperity.

“The Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail is the infrastructure project we need to secure Australia’s freight future, delivering the transport network required to serve the freight market for the next century,” Mr Chester said.

“Our freight task will double by 2050 and we need to take action now to meet demand. Inland Rail will reduce congestion on our roads; each interstate train on Inland Rail can carry freight that would require the equivalent of 110 B-double trucks.

“This is a major investment in Australia’s economic future. It will create 16,000 jobs at peak of construction, boost Australia’s GDP by $16 billion, and provide an important link to domestic and global markets.”

Federal Member for Parkes Mark Coulton said the Inland Rail project would be transformational for the region, after highlighting the importance of this project in his first speech to Federal Parliament in 2008.

“This region supports a range of industries such as mining, the production of beef and pork, grain farming, and the production of fruit and vegetables. Having access to a freight link that directly connects to major ports will give local farmers and producers the best opportunity they can to compete in Asia and beyond,” Mr Coulton said.

“The Central and North West region of New South Wales will see $480 million in net economic benefits from the delivery of this project, and some of those 16,000 jobs will go to locals.

“Inland Rail will create the incentive for industry to develop intermodal hubs, potentially at regional centres such as Moree, Narromine, and Narrabri.

“I want to see this region reach its economic potential and it’s great to see the Australian Government commit an additional $8.4 billion funding toward this project.

“The recent completion of upgrades to Tomlingley West rail bridge to Inland Rail standard was an exciting sign of progress, with the Narwonah rail bridge upgrade scheduled for 14 to 17 May.”

For more information on the Inland Rail project visit https://infrastructure.gov.au/rail/inland/