Australia’s NSW govt signs Inland Rail agreement


Australia’s Federal and New South Wales (NSW) governments have signed a bilateral agreement, which facilitates the commencement of works on the multi-billion-dollar Inland Rail project in NSW.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure Michael McCormack and NSW Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW John Barilaro signed the intergovernmental agreement in Parkes, which provides consent for the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) to deliver Inland Rail in NSW.

NSW is the second state to sign up to the project.

McCormack said that the signing of the bilateral agreement was a landmark moment in the delivery of the project.

He said: “Inland Rail will be a corridor of commerce for communities along the eastern seaboard and today’s agreement in Parkes is another vital step in making its vision a reality.

“Locals know how exciting this project is and – as a local MP – I know how Inland Rail will create local jobs and investment opportunities throughout the regions, as well as dealing with Australia’s future freight challenges well into the next century.”

According to Minister for Finance Mathias Cormann, the agreement provides certainty for the delivery of Inland Rail in NSW. It also includes a commitment to negotiate a long-term lease with the ARTC and protect the rail corridor.

Cormann said: “While construction for the Parkes to Narromine section will commence in the coming months, the agreement provides the guiding principles for the delivery of new sections of Inland Rail, including the 307km corridor of new rail between Narromine and Narrabri.”

Under the project, a direct rail freight connection will be created between Melbourne and Brisbane, capable of moving double stacked freight containers.

Once operational, Inland Rail is expected to attract more freight to rail, diverting traffic from the Newell, Hume and Pacific Highways, freeing up space in the Sydney Metro area for more passenger services.

Barilaro said that Inland Rail will reduce congestion on roads and rail and pave the way for the development of inland ports in regional NSW.

Construction is expected to begin mid-2018 once approvals are received.

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