Construction to commence the Parkes to Narromine section of the Inland Rail has been given the green light to go ahead by the Australian and NSW Government.
Deputy Prime Minister 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.
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 last 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.
For more visit infrastructure.gov.au/rail/inland