Australian Govt invests $5.5bn for a better and safer Inland Rail

Monica Gameng   |   January 5, 2021
Inland Rail (cr: Australian Rail Track Corporation)

The Australian Government is set to deliver a more efficient and safer Inland Rail with an additional $5.5 billion equity injection into the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC). 

The additional equity will not only enhance planning, design and delivery of Inland Rail, it will also help support thousands of extra jobs and provide billions in additional economic activity. 

The enhanced design will now include: 

  • Over 4,500 additional culverts 
  • Nine additional viaducts 
  • An additional 6.8 kilometres of bridges 
  • 10 extra grade separations 
  • About 450 kilometres of additional fencing 
  • Removal of up to 139 level crossings 

These enhancements resulted from the ARTC’s significant work to progress designs as well as engage communities and undertake detailed analysis to build the 1,700-kilometre rail line, which includes about 600 kilometres of greenfield track. 

“These enhancements will provide for greater local investment, mean Inland Rail will now support more than 21,500 jobs at the peak of construction and deliver an extra economic boost of $2 billion. 

“These enhancements to the Inland Rail network will deliver more contracts for local businesses and more work for Australians at a time when we need them most,” Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said. 

Minister McCormack also said that Inland Rail is being built not just by Tier 1 contractors and big companies, but businesses of all sizes from across Australia have also been tendering for work and benefitting from the construction of Inland Rail. 

Once completed, Inland Rail will change the way how freight is moved within Australia as it delivers a world-class freight network that connects Melbourne and Brisbane. 

“We’re making improvements to the design to deliver a more efficient network while at the same time supporting even more jobs and more economic activity. 

“Enhanced Inland Rail will change the way we move freight in Australia, supporting fast, reliable and cost-competitive movement of goods and resource. Our investment will strengthen supply chains, and better connect regional areas along the network with customers across Australia and the world,” Minister for Finance Simon Birmingham said. 

The Parkes to Narromine section of Inland Rail has already been completed and the project has supported more than 1,800 jobs – including 762 local residents and 302 Indigenous workers. Approximately $110 million has been spent on local content such as 14,000 tonnes of Whyalla Steel worth $20 million. 

Works are now underway on the next 171-kilometre section between Narrabri and North Star in New South Wales. This section of Inland Rail is anticipated to support thousands of jobs in north-western New South Wales as well as utilise about 25,000 tonnes of Whyalla Steel and 341,000 Australian-made concrete sleepers. 

Planning for other sections of Inland Rail are also well advanced, with the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the largest section – between Narromine and Narrabri – now on public display. 

Over the coming months, a further four statements are due to be released for the Queensland section of Inland Rail. 

In addition, ARTC is currently working with the New South Wales Government to respond to feedback collected during the public exhibition of the North Star to Queensland Border EIS that closed in October 2020. 

Inland Rail is a 1,700-kilometre freight rail line - broken down into 13 individual projects to date - that runs from Melbourne to Brisbane via regional Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland.

Source: Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional DevelopmentInland Rail; Australian Rail Track CorportationInside Construction; Industry Queensland 

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Monica Gameng
As Felix's Marketing Assistant since 2015, Monica is responsible for researching and sharing new and progressing projects within the construction and mining sectors in Australia. It's no surprise that Monica has her finger on the pulse of Australian major projects given she has produced more than 1,000 posts. She truly is an industry expert.
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