Inland Rail procurement strategy to enhance industry and regional Australia

Australia’s most significant freight infrastructure project, Inland Rail, has launched a new procurement and packaging plan to industry – promising to accelerate benefits to business and regional communities sooner.

September 24, 2020

Rail workers on the track performing maintenance outside Parkes, NSW.

ARTC has adopted a model that allows activation of the procurement process earlier and shorter procurement periods in a more collaborative industry environment.

The Australian Rail Track Corporation Inland Rail CEO Richard Wankmuller said that the new plan is in line with the Australian Government’s commitment to fast-track investment in critical infrastructure projects and is in response to industry feedback.

“Industry has clearly sent a message that Inland Rail needs to work more closely with project proponents to accelerate project tenders, maximise opportunities to participate and de-risk procurement processes. Doing so will deliver the greatest benefit for government, industry and small and medium regional businesses.

“By investing now and getting tenders out faster, this mega-project is offering tender packages ideally suited to a range of suppliers and contractors, big and small.

Mr Wankmuller said that the Inland Rail project has already delivered more than $1 billion worth of contracts across Australia and the plan is focused on delivering sustainable employment to regional areas.

“Inland Rail is also being predominantly delivered – 90 per cent – in regional Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland away from the overheated metropolitan infrastructure markets meaning there is greater opportunity for regional Australia to reap the rewards”.

“We are incredibly mindful of how sizable investment can reshape regional economies in a short period of time and our focus is on ensuring that benefits to communities are delivered in a sustainable way that enhances, not compromises, the strategic advantages they have.

“Inland Rail is building momentum with the first Parkes to Narromine section generating more than 1800 jobs and more than $109m in local spend. Broad participation in our upcoming tenders will reinforce industry’s confidence in Inland Rail delivery, Mr Wankmuller said.

Chief Executive of the Australian Contractors Association Jon Davies welcomed the change in approach saying that COVID-19 is driving a more agile approach to infrastructure delivery.

“It has never been more important for industry and Clients to work together collaboratively in order to efficiently deliver projects and leverage their social and economic benefits”, he said.

“We welcome ARTC’s new approach to procurement and our members look forward to working with ARTC and the Inland Rail team as these new opportunities arise in coming months”

Inland Rail is a 1,700km fast freight backbone between Melbourne and Brisbane that will transform how we move goods around Australia. With a freight transit time of less than 24 hours, Inland Rail will better link businesses, manufacturers and producers to national and global markets and generate new opportunities for industries and regions.

Inland Rail has provided an industry briefing to communicate the market opportunities this plan will present for the following projects:

  • Albury to Illabo
  • Illabo to Stockinbingal
  • Stockinbingal to Parkes
  • Narromine to Narrabri
  • North Star to NSW/QLD Border
  • NSW/QLD Border to Gowrie
  • Kagaru to Acacia Ridge and Bromelton

For more information visit

Inland Rail is also seeking Registrations of Interest (ROI) from suitably qualified and experienced contractors to deliver rail works as part of the new procurement package.

To access the ROI documents, interested parties must be registered on the Tenderlink website tenderlink/Inlandrail and use the ID number INLAND-936705.


Images of Richard Wankmuller and Inland Rail construction can be found at this link.

September 24, 2020


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