Inland Rail declared essential for New South Wales

Media Release


03 November 2017

Joint release with:

Mark Coulton

Federal Member for Parkes

  • Two Inland Rail projects declared Critical State Significant Infrastructure by the New South Wales Government
  • Critical State Significant Infrastructure status is for projects that are essential for the state based on economic, social and environmental merits
  • The Australian Government committed $8.4 billion to Inland Rail in the 2017–18 Budget

Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester has welcomed two stages of the Inland Rail project being declared Critical State Significant Infrastructure.

Mr Chester said the Parkes to Narromine and Narrabri to North Star sections of the Inland Rail were declared essential to New South Wales based on economic, social and environmental reasons.

“This announcement is a reflection of why the Australian Government is committed to the delivery of the Inland Rail project,” Mr Chester said.

“It will support thousands of jobs during construction and improve access to domestic and international markets.”

Federal Member for Parkes Mark Coulton said Inland Rail would benefit the state through improved reliability of freight rail transport, improved service standards and lower freight costs.

“Truck volumes and road congestion on some of the state’s busiest highways, including the Newell, will also be reduced which will also lead to improved road safety,” Mr Coulton said.

“We’ll also see a real boost in opportunities for businesses throughout regional New South Wales, with western New South Wales set to be a real winner in terms of economic spinoffs, which is great news in terms of local jobs growth.

“I am delighted this announcement has been made. It sets the stage for further activity, with work expected to start in the New Year on the Parkes to Narromine section of the project, and planning work for the Narrabri to North Star section of the line progressing well.”

For more information on Inland Rail, visit