Inland Rail is giving farmers and other landholders the opportunity to share in the project’s broader economic benefits by allowing them to supply materials such as rock, gravel and soil direct from borrow pits and quarries for the project’s construction.
Landowners located near the proposed Narromine to Narrabri segment of the Inland Rail line in central-west New South Wales are being encouraged to register their interest with the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) to supply suitable building materials such as rock, gravel and soil.
The ARTC will pay an extraction fee per tonne to local landholders for supplying the right materials – according to required quality specifications and subject to testing – and the ARTC will also rehabilitate the borrow pits and cover them with topsoil.
The locally supplied products will be used to build rail embankments as part of rolling-out the 1700km Brisbane to Melbourne Inland Rail project.
This initiative is being led by the ARTC and is supported by the Federal Government.
The $9.3 billion Inland Rail project aims to reduce freight costs for farmers and move product more efficiently into growing domestic and international markets.
Acting Prime Minister and Federal Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Michael McCormack, turned the first official sod to launch the Inland Rail’s construction at Parkes in central-west New South Wales last December, where he welcomed the local supply initiative.
“It is estimated that the Narromine to Narrabri segment of the Inland Rail project will need to import in excess of three million cubic metres of fill material, or the equivalent of about 1,200 Olympic-sized swimming pools,” Mr McCormack said.
“This provides an excellent opportunity for local landholders to experience the shared benefits of the Inland Rail, even before the 1700km track is completed and carrying double-stacked trains to move more produce into domestic and international markets, at a lower freight cost.”
Federal Minister for Finance, Mathias Cormann, said this local supply opportunity was another example of the Inland Rail project delivering tangible economic benefits.
“Inland Rail will drive significant investment in regional communities through the creation of around 16,000 direct and indirect jobs and a $16 billion contribution to the national economy,” Mr Cormann said.
Federal Assistant Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Mark Coulton, said the supply opportunity is a good news story for local landholders, offering a boost for economic growth in his electorate of Parkes.
“As this section of the Inland Rail project progresses, local opportunities with shared economic benefits will become available,” Mr Coulton said.
“This will include tendering for plant and geotechnical equipment, mobile camps, concrete supply services, fencing, earthmoving, drainage, electrical works, concrete works, security and water bore drilling.”
Inland Rail Narromine to Narrabri Project Director, Duncan Mitchell, said materials will need testing to confirm their suitability for supply, which will require geotechnical work and appropriate permission from landowners.
“The ARTC will review all submissions and contact landowners to discuss the next steps and answer any questions related to investigations,” Mr Mitchell said.
“This is just the start of the kinds of opportunities people will see from Inland Rail in the area and we want as many people as possible to get in touch to let us know what they have.”
Local landholders can register their interest with the ARTC to supply materials. Registrations are due to close on 28 January 2019.
The ideal location of borrow pits containing suitable general fill material must be within 25km of the Narromine to Narrabri study area.
Competent rock – which can be used to produce ballast rock – will also be considered, from sites located up to 50km from the study area.
Interested parties can register their interest for supplying materials from borrow pits and quarries for the Narromine to Narrabri segment of the Inland Rail line and find more information here.