The implementation of a strategy to help country communities take advantage of the forthcoming Inland Rail network has been met with approval by RDA
Orana chairperson John Walkom.
The strategic planning tool, Are you ready for Inland Rail? will be developed by Regional Australia Institute and was commissioned by the Department
of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities to assist regions in identifying potential areas of growth based on new opportunities.
“The Australian Rail Track Corporation’s 1700km rail project links the cities of Melbourne and Brisbane, incorporating connectivity across inland NSW
and providing an alternative to existing road networks,” Mr Walkom explained.
“It is expected to return $480M to the economies of Central and North West NSW, introducing the potential to explore unchartered opportunities, forge
new connections and increase profitability. In economic terms, we expect this to be a real driver of success.”
The improved rail infrastructure will increase the volumes of grain, cotton, beef and other commodities being transported by rail and will make it
easier to move freight from farms, mines and ports to NSW, national, and overseas markets.“This multi-billion dollar interstate network will introduce
a new era in freight transport in Australia,” Mr Walkom said.
“During the development phase alone, 16,000 jobs will be created to manage extensive upgrades and reconstruction of the existing rail track which includes
replacement of bridges and culverts, enhanced level crossings and crossing loops.”
Within RDA Orana, there are two sections of railway line being developed: Parkes to Narromine and Narromine to Narrabri. Work on the Narromine section
involves upgrading the existing rail corridor and construction of a new 5.3km connection.The Narromine to Narrabri link is a new corridor which
will become the longest and most significant greenfield project within the Inland Rail. At 307km in length, the addition of this new section will
reduce transit times and complete one of the missing freight rail links between Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth and Brisbane. For more information about
the Inland Rail, visitwww.inlandrail.com.au and www.majorprojects.planning.nsw.gov.au
There is also an Inland Rail Regional Liaison Officer based at Dubbo. Contact Elisha Bailey on
0409 844 091 or Elisha.Bailey@infrastructure.gov.au