Opportunity for Local Expertise for Inland Rail Tenders
The Vice Chair of the Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail Alliance (MBIRA) and Moree Plains Shire Council’s Deputy Mayor Cr Sue Price is excited that the first round of tenders has opened as part of the planning for the key segments of the Narrabri to North Star and Parkes to Narromine sections of the Inland Rail project.
The Inland Rail will connect key production areas in Queensland, NSW and Victoria with export ports in Brisbane and Melbourne, and linkages to Sydney and Perth, boosting regional economic growth and driving national productivity.
Cr Price said “Access to a highly efficient inland railway will open up a range of opportunities for the regions, particularly in the agricultural sector, by significantly reducing the cost of delivering produce to ports and from ports to regional areas.”
The Australian Government has committed $300 million to commence work on the Inland Rail project and the tenders are a clear demonstration that real progress is being made.
“The Inland Rail project is in the implementation stage but the Federal Government needs to commit to more funding so the work can be completed,” said Cr Price.
Moree Plains Shire Council has been working closely with the Australian Rail Track Corporation to ensure that the final product will reflect priorities of freight customers in the north-west and to involve local communities along the Inland Rail.
“We know there is a lot of expertise in the local community who understand black soils, can provide local expertise, be involved in construction, and provide local goods and services, hospitality and accommodation ,” said Cr Price.
Cr Price’s involvement with the MBIRA means Moree Plains Shire Council has a unique opportunity to assist with facilitation of the project and encourage community consultation.
The Inland Rail will boost capacity and productivity along the country’s fastest growth freight corridor and Council through its membership in the Border Regional Organisation of Councils has sought interest in the Inland Rail from Gwydir, Inverell, Tenterfield, Southern Downs, Goondiwindi Regional and Balonne Councils.
“Council has been actively involved with the Inland Rail project because it is a critical investment in jobs, growth and future prosperity for our region and others that are along the route and within the freight catchment,” said Cr Price.