JOINT MEDIA RELEASE

Australian steel laying the track for Inland Rail

MC 18/19

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

Date: Monday, 25 February 2019

Construction of the 1,700 kilometre Inland Rail freight line between Melbourne and Brisbane has progressed, with 14,000 tonnes of Australian steel delivered on site for the Parkes to Narromine section of the track.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack was in attendance as the final steel was delivered for the project.

“This is about Australian steel, Australian jobs for Australia’s future,” Mr McCormack said.

“The Liberal and Nationals Government’s investment in Inland Rail is about more than building a freight rail line – it is about investing in regional communities and building a nation that can meet the challenges of the next century and beyond.

“It is fitting that strong Australian steel will lay the foundation of our future freight network and set us on the track to unlocking the employment, community and industry benefits that Inland Rail provides.”

The delivery of Whyalla steel coincides with construction ramping up on 5.3 kilometres of brand new track to connect the existing Broken Hill line to Inland Rail.

“Inland Rail will connect to existing regional and rural rail lines to drive productivity growth for inland communities beyond the alignment,” Mr McCormack said.

“The Liberals and Nationals understand that we need to deliver the best outcome for regional Australia and are committed to ongoing community collaboration to ensure maximum benefits and minimum impacts.

“Sixty workers from INLink are already working on the Parkes to Narromine section of this nation-building project and more than $300 million is being spent in the Parkes region which is boosting spending at local shops and supporting local businesses and schools.”

The Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) has established Community Consultative Committees (CCC) in New South Wales to meet with local landholders along the proposed alignment, to discuss the opportunities Inland Rail will deliver and listen to any concerns from the community.

The Illabo to Stockinbingal CCC was announced in December 2018 with the first meeting to be held in Cootamundra this Thursday, 28 February 2019.

“We need local knowledge and expertise to inform the best possible rail line,” Mr McCormack said.

“I encourage all interested community members to contact members of the CCC to discuss any matters they would like raised in the first meeting later this month.”

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said that large-scale infrastructure investments like that into the Inland Rail project helped drive stronger economic and jobs growth. 

“Inland Rail is a $9.3 billion investment by our Liberal-Nationals Government, which will drive improved productivity and competitiveness,” Senator Cormann said.

“Inland Rail is an investment in Australia’s future economic success, creating market diversifying opportunities for industry and complementary investment opportunities for regional Australia.”

FAST FACTS:

• The construction contract for the Parkes to Narromine section of Inland Rail is worth more than $300 million
• As at 26 November 2018 ARTC had 187 live contracts for materials, goods and services worth $637 million
• ARTC has contracted for the manufacture of 200,000 concrete sleepers
• More than 14,000 tonnes of steel rail for the Parkes to Narromine section of Inland Rail have been delivered to the site.

For more information on the construction of the Parkes to Narromine section of Inland Rail visit: https://inlandrail.artc.com.au/

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Media Contact(s)

For Minister Cormann: Karen Wu - 0428 350 139
For the Deputy Prime Minister: Colin Bettles - 0447 718 781 | Dom Hopkinson - 0409 421 209