Major construction starts on the Narrabri to North Star section of Inland Rail

Major construction is now underway on the Narrabri to North Star section of the Inland Rail project.

Special guests including Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormarck, Member for Parkes Mark Coulton and Inland Rail CEO Richard Wankmuller ceremonially turning sod.

ARTC Inland Rail Chief Executive Officer Richard Wankmuller said it is an exciting time for the project and for the communities in northwest New South Wales.

“As major construction activity gains momentum in the region over the coming months, there are opportunities for local businesses and individuals to take action and get involved.” Mr Wankmuller said.

“In the first few weeks of construction we’ve removed nearly 10,000 sleepers and 11 kilometres of rail with over 100 people already working on the project.”

“More than 500 people are expected to directly work on the construction of Inland Rail from Narrabri to North Star – with 25 per cent of those people employed being local to the region.”

Mr Wankmuller also said there are more than 60 tenders currently being advertised for the project through our construction partners.

“Now is the time for local businesses to become involved in opportunities available,” Mr Wankmuller said.

“My hope is that as many local businesses as possible benefit from this iconic project during the construction phase before capitalising on the economic opportunities it will open up for this region and the rest of inland Australia.”

“Inland Rail will be a catalyst for change. This has already been felt on the first completed section between Parkes and Narromine and now the benefits are starting to be felt here in the North West. For some this will be a once-in-a-generation opportunity and I know many locals in the future will be proud to look back in the years to come and say they were a part of it.”

Narrabri to North Star Project Director Heather Parry said recent flooding in the Narrabri and Moree districts has highlighted the need for Inland Rail.

“The East Coast network was shut down by the rain event in New South Wales in March with flooding from Sydney through to Queensland Border. The network was also cut here between Narrabri and Moree and it again highlighted the need for Inland Rail,” Mrs Parry said.

“Inland Rail is one of the first railways to be constructed with flood modelling taken into account,” she said.

“We are using the most up-to-date Australian rainfall and runoff data – which considers projected rainfall patterns associated with modelled climate change impacts – in addition to historical flood records and local landowner knowledge and evidence.”

“Design is being based on modelling for 100-year events and we are determined to build the safest, best and most resilient line we can. Interoperability is the key to creating a more reliable rail system by providing multiple pathways in times of need allowing us to adapt when a natural disaster impacts a part of the network.”

“This is what our customers want, and Australia needs. They want certainty around the continuity of supply. Inland Rail will deliver that change which will deliver lasting benefits for generations to come.”

ENDS

Media contact: ARTC media team 1300 196 401


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