History was made at Peak Hill today when the final golden clip was hammered into place to signify the completion of the first section of Inland Rail.
“What a significant and momentous day,” declared Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack.
“Inland Rail is nation-building and today recognises a great milestone in this transformational infrastructure.”
Member for Riverina Michael McCormack, who was joined at the Parkes-Narromine section milestone event by ministerial colleague and Member for Parkes Mark Coulton, said Peak Hill was an appropriate location for the achievement as it was here on 15 January 2018 that the first shipment of Australian-made steel was delivered to begin the project.
“Inland Rail is an investment in Australia – in our economy, in our regions and in the capacity of our future freight network,” Mr McCormack said.
“This is real progress on a project which has been talked about since federation, already our Government has delivered more than 1,800 jobs and $100 million in local stimulus through Inland Rail.
“The corridor of commerce we are building with Inland Rail stretches 1,700km from Melbourne to Brisbane – we are turning steel into stimulus as we lay the tracks that will deliver jobs and opportunity.
“We have invested $25 million in ballast and capping (800,000 tonnes) from Parkes-based companies Calvani Crushing and Ausrock Quarries – a great example of how local procurement is at the heart of Inland Rail.”
Finance Minister Mathias Cormann described Inland Rail as a once-in-a-generation project that delivers major benefits to the nation.
“Long-haul rail is cheaper, safer and more reliable than road, that’s why the Australian Government is enhancing the national freight rail network through our investment in Inland Rail,” Minister Cormann said.
“The shift from road to rail builds resilience in our freight network – not only will Inland Rail deliver a long-term freight solution for Australia to meet the needs of our growing population – it is also a critical investment supporting an efficient Australian economy.”
Minister for Regional Health, Regional Communications and Local Government and Federal Member for Parkes, Mark Coulton said today’s milestone showed Inland Rail was happening and will become a vital part of the network required to meet Australia’s growing freight transport task for the next 50 years.
“Inland Rail will present new growth opportunities for farmers, producers and manufacturers in the regional areas of New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria,” Minister Coulton said.
“Regional businesses have been calling out for world-class transport and logistics to get their products to market and the Australian Government is delivering.
“Today we have shown that the future of an efficient rail freight network is achievable, and will enable effective supply chains, national productivity and competitiveness for our nation.”
Minister Coulton said the Parkes to Narromine section was built with the skills of local communities – more than 760 locals contributed to the project and almost $110 million was spent with local businesses.
“As we continue building Inland Rail we will see even more growth opportunities for local businesses and employment for those in regional Australia,” he said.
“We’re now looking ahead to the Narrabri to North Star project, scheduled to commence construction later this year, where we will see similar local benefits as Inland Rail provides a must needed catalyst for stimulus in our regions.”
Parkes to Narromine fast facts
• Upgrades to 98 kilometres of existing corridor and 5.3 kilometres of new rail
• 1,862 people worked on the project, 762 of these are local residents from the Parkes area.
• 302 Indigenous people worked on the project, 197 of whom are local Indigenous workers.
• 99 local businesses supplied to the P2N project, 9 of which are Indigenous businesses.
• $109.7 million total spend with local businesses, $14.1 million of which has been spent with Indigenous businesses.
• $20 million in steel rail (14,000 tonnes) supplied by Liberty OneSteel Whyalla, South Australia.
• $20 million awarded to Rocla, Mittagong for 200,000 concrete sleepers.
• $13 million worth of culverts weighing 26,625 tonnes from Holcim, Tamworth.
• 365,000 rail clips from Pandrol, Blacktown.