Inland rail on track
More than $11 million worth of contracts has been awarded in recent weeks by the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) to progress planning on the Inland Rail project according to Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail Alliance founding member, Moree Plains Shire Council.
The contracts include a range of crucial field studies and environmental assessments across Queensland, New South Wales (NSW), and Victoria.
Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, the Honourable Darren Chester MP, confirmed the contracts are for the provision of technical and engineering advisory services and discrete parcels of engineering and environmental consultancy across the alignment.
“Inland Rail is now in the planning and environmental approvals phase and ARTC and its consultants will commence critical field studies along the alignment over the coming weeks,” Minister Chester said.
“A joint venture of SMEC and Arup has won the technical and engineering advisory contract and will provide a team of subject matter experts who will significantly bolster the resources of ARTC's Inland Rail team.”
Moree Plains Shire Council Deputy Mayor, Councillor Sue Price said, “This is an exciting milestone as this vital work demonstrates the Federal Government’s commitment to ensure Inland Rail is construction ready.”
“The Inland Rail is a game-changer for Australia as it is being designed to provide a dedicated Melbourne to Brisbane freight link that is reliable and provides a transit time of less than 24 hours at an attractive price, enabling the market to move goods at a competitive rate and timeframe as compared to road.
“With the freight quantities generated by this region and its geographical location, Moree has an integral role in freight movements both regionally and as part of broader east coast freight movement.”
The Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail offers huge potential for Moree Plains as it fundamentally supports Council’s approach in strategically positioning the Shire as a regional freight hub now and into the future.
Cr Price concluded, “Inland Rail will boost regional economic growth and drive national productivity as it will connect key production areas in Queensland, NSW and Victoria with export ports in Brisbane and Melbourne, with linkages to Newcastle, Sydney, Adelaide and Perth.”