The Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail continues to make headway with almost $30 million in contracts awarded to four companies for feasibility and detailed design work on the nationally significant project.
Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Darren Chester, said the contracts were awarded in a competitive process for work on four sections in New South Wales and Victoria.
“These contracts will provide vital input into the Australian Government’s work to get Inland Rail construction ready,” Mr Chester said.
“The consultancies will support the ongoing approvals process, environmental investigations and engineering design for each of the projects.
“For the Parkes to Narromine and Narrabri to North Star projects, these contracts will see the detailed design finalised, progressing the project to the construction stage. For the Tottenham to Illabo and Stockinbingal to Parkes sections, these contracts formally begin the feasibility design process, which will lead to further detailed design work.
“Further contracts for Inland Rail in New South Wales and Queensland will be awarded over the coming months,” Mr Chester said.
Two contracts were awarded for feasibility design work, which examines issues such as bridge verse culvert or overbridge verse underbridge, to arrive at a preferred solution. This design also forms the basis for Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) documentation and consultation process.
Federal Minister for Small Business and Federal Member for Riverina, Michael McCormack, said the feasibility design works would lead on to the detailed design phase.
“This will see more contracts awarded, which will ultimately lead to construction. This means residents and local businesses can maximise the benefits of Inland Rail, including the jobs and new investment opportunities it will create,” Mr McCormack said.
The remaining two contracts were for detailed design, which assesses the preferred solution from feasibility design, together with any directives as a result of the EIS consultation process. This takes the project from the concept stage to a point where a builder can commence construction.
Contract awards announced:
- Stockinbingal to Parkes (NSW) $500,000 contract awarded to Lycopodium Infrastructure
- Parkes to Narromine (NSW) $10 million contract awarded to WSP Australia and Mott MacDonald Australia
- Narrabri to North Star (NSW) $13 million contract awarded to WSP Australia and Mott MacDonald Australia
- Tottenham (VIC) to Illabo (NSW) $6 million contract awarded to Kellogg Brown & Root
Mr Chester said Inland Rail would support further development, investment and innovation in the regions, and stimulate new opportunities for regional businesses.
“This critical infrastructure will be a launch pad to develop intermodal hubs and attract new manufacturing and production business to regional communities,” Mr Chester said.
“We are already seeing private investors making enquiries, and the Australian Government will work closely with local partners and the community to make the most of the opportunity this nationally significant project has created.
“These contacts give businesses greater certainty that Inland Rail is happening and the Australian Government will be supporting industry and communities to make the most of the opportunities that Inland Rail delivers.
“Inland Rail will expand the freight network between Melbourne and Brisbane, connecting regional Australia to domestic and international markets. I am looking forward to seeing construction get underway in 2018.”
The Australian Government announced an additional $8.4 billion commitment to Inland Rail in the 2017–18 Federal Budget, on top of nearly $900 million previously committed.
The Australian Government, through the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC), is delivering the multi-billion dollar Inland Rail in partnership with the private sector.