Media Releases → 2022

JOINT MEDIA RELEASE

Inland Rail growing regional Australia, on and off the track

Senator the Hon. Simon Birmingham
Minister for Finance
Leader of the Government in the Senate
Senator for South Australia

Hon Barnaby Joyce MP
Deputy Prime Minister
Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development

The Hon Michelle Landry MP
Minister for Children and Families
Minister for Regional Tourism
Federal Member for Capricornia

The Hon Michael McCormack MP
Federal Member for Riverina

Date: Thursday, 3 February 2022

More than 1.3 million concrete sleepers needed to build Inland Rail will be manufactured in regional Queensland and New South Wales, sparking new economic opportunities and creating new jobs.

The Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) has signed contracts worth $143 million with Austrak, one of Australia’s largest manufacturers of railway sleepers, to supply sleepers for the Inland Rail project.

Around 95 workers, including 30 new positions supported by this contract commitment, will manufacture the sleepers at Austrak’s sites in Rockhampton and Wagga Wagga.

Austrak has already provided around 225,000 sleepers for the Narrabri to North Star section of Inland Rail. The 1.3 million sleepers under the new contract will be used to upgrade existing track and complete new sections of rail from Albury in New South Wales through to the Inland Rail end point in Queensland.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Barnaby Joyce said Inland Rail is helping drive the growth of regional Australia, on and off the track.

“Australia’s largest transport infrastructure project is creating big opportunities for our manufacturers, helping these businesses to grow and hire more Australians,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.

“More than 400 Australian businesses, including many in regional areas, have already shared in the billions of dollars we’re investing in Inland Rail.

“The project is not just breathing new life into regional economies along the route but all over Australia, including in Rockhampton which is north of where we expect the eventual route to end in Gladstone.

“The Liberal and Nationals Government put our shoulder to the wheel to get Inland Rail moving because we knew the positive impact it would have. We’re getting it done because the Labor Party never could and regional businesses are already reaping the benefits of our vision for Inland Rail.”

Finance Minister Simon Birmingham said the $143 million contract would continue to create significant employment and economic opportunities for regional Australia and across the board.

“The design and construction of Inland Rail has already seen ARTC commit to contracts worth more than $2.2 billion,” Minister Birmingham said.

“This level of investment is having positive flow on for local communities with Inland Rail expected to deliver a boost of more than $18 billion to Australia’s Gross Domestic Product during construction and through the first 50 years of operation.

“Australia’s supply chains are already benefitting from Inland Rail, with the completed and operational Parkes to Narromine section servicing freight trains.”

Federal Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry said today’s announcement is a substantial boost to Rockhampton’s manufacturing sector.

“This is great news for Rockhampton and what it ultimately means is more local jobs and investment into our local economy,” Ms Landry said.

“The Inland Rail will create new and significant opportunities for the freight industry and people and businesses in regional Queensland and beyond.”

Federal Member for Riverina Michael McCormack commended Austrak on its role in building the Inland Rail, creating many local jobs and boosting the Wagga Wagga economy.

“Inland Rail is a significant nation-building project, changing how rail freight is moved around Australia while enhancing our immediate and long-term economic prospects,” Mr McCormack said.

“This is proof the Inland Rail is supporting local economies not only along its 1,700-kilometre corridor of commerce – but right across the country and particularly in our regions – now and into the future.”

For more information on Inland Rail contracts and commitments, or to explore opportunities to help build the Inland Rail, visit https://inlandrail.artc.com.au/opportunities/suppliers

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