Joint Media Release

Environmental approvals pave the way for Parkes to Narromine Inland Rail construction

MC 58/18

Senator the Hon. Mathias Cormann
Minister for Finance and the Public Service
Leader of the Government in the Senate
Senator for Western Australia

The Hon. Michael McCormack MP
Deputy Prime Minister
Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development
Leader of the Nationals
Federal Member for Riverina

The Hon. Melissa Price MP
Minister for the Environment
Federal Member for Durack

The Hon. Mark Coulton MP
Assistant Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment
Federal Member for Parkes

The Hon. Melinda Pavey MP
NSW Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight
State Member for Oxley

The Hon. Anthony Roberts MP
NSW Minister for Planning
State Member for Lane Cove

5 September 2018

The Australian and New South Wales Governments have given the green light for construction to commence on the Parkes to Narromine section of Inland Rail.

Deputy Prime Minister, Nationals’ Leader and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said Inland Rail will bring jobs and opportunities, improve connectivity and increase freight productivity for businesses and consumers in regional Australia. 

“Today is another vital step in making our Inland Rail vision a reality and I am excited for the first section of Inland Rail construction to commence, with $9.3 billion in Federal Government investment,” Mr McCormack said.

“Communities across regional Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland will see the benefit of better access to markets at home and overseas, as well as ensuring Australia meets the challenge of our freight task which is set to double.”

Minister for Finance and the Public Service Mathias Cormann said Inland Rail will be a corridor of commerce for communities along the Eastern Seaboard.

“Through this investment, the Australian Government is delivering on its commitment to increase freight productivity, ease road congestion and streamline supply chains for businesses and consumers,” Senator Cormann said.

Minister for the Environment Melissa Price said final approval for these works under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act was provided by the Department of the Environment and Energy this week.

“The Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) can start its upgrade to the 106 kilometres of track between these two important regional service centres. This will bring jobs and economic opportunity to the region,” Ms Price said.

Federal Member for Parkes Mark Coulton said he was pleased to see regional Australians are ready for Inland Rail.

“Inland Rail was what made me get off the tractor and put my hand up for Parliament – this is going to be a transformational investment in communities throughout Western NSW,” Mr Coulton said.

“Whether it’s seeing firsthand the opportunities for greater market access as Australia’s Assistant Trade Minister or understanding the passion local farmers and small businesses have for new jobs and  opportunities in Western NSW, this is an exciting project.”

NSW Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight Melinda Pavey welcomed the next step toward making the Parkes to Narromine section a reality.

“The capacity to move freight efficiently and reliably is the single most important factor in ensuring the continued health of our domestic economy, and in growing and maintaining economic competitiveness,” Mrs Pavey said.

NSW Minister for Planning and Housing Anthony Roberts said approval for these works under the NSW Environmental Planning and Assessment Act was provided by the New South Wales Department of Planning and Environment previously.

“I’m pleased to see both Governments give the green light for the first Inland Rail project to begin,” Mr Roberts said.

“Our freight network supports economic growth in New South Wales, however the existing freight rail line is constrained as it travels through the congested Sydney network, bypassing some of the state’s most productive agricultural regions.”

The ARTC has been appointed by the Australian Government to deliver Inland Rail in partnership with the private sector.

More information about the Inland Rail project is available at https://infrastructure.gov.au/rail/inland/ and http://epbcnotices.environment.gov.au/publicnoticesreferrals/.

[ENDS]

Media Contact(s): 

Mr McCormack – Colin Bettles 0447 718 781 | Dom Hopkinson 0409 421 209
Mr Cormann – Karen Wu – 0428 350 139
Ms Price – Andrew Brosnan 0418 203 356
Mr Coulton – Anna Tickle – 0400 050 729
Mrs Pavey – Marnie Procter 0457 567 221
Mr Roberts – Norm Lipson (02) 8574 5600

Senator the Hon Mathias Cormann, Minister for Finance and the Public Service, Perth