The Federal Government has made a last call for input on its $44 million Inland Rail Interface Improvement Program (II Program), with applications closing this Friday.

The program calls for businesses, governments, industry and communities to propose ideas that improve local connections with Inland Rail.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Michael McCormack, said the II Program would help those with big ideas around Inland Rail connections and supply chain efficiencies to turn their ideas into something real.

“The Australian Government’s infrastructure investment will support the recovery efforts as we meet the challenge of COVID-19, there is no better example of infrastructure delivering jobs and economic growth than Inland Rail,” Mr McCormack said.

“Inland Rail is the corridor of commerce that will grow our regions and build resilience in communities throughout Australia. 

“This fast and reliable freight network will create opportunities for towns to connect to cities and for small businesses to connect to broader markets across the globe.

“I encourage the supply chain managers, the producers, local and state governments, local businesses, community representatives and the freight and train operators with big ideas to submit proposals to the II Program.”

Finance Minister, Mathias Cormann, said the Interface Improvement Program seeks proposals that can maximise efficiencies and connections to this national infrastructure.

“The connections developed under the Inland Rail Interface Improvement Program will further improve supply chain productivity and enhance the connections our regions have to major markets, both domestically and abroad,” Mr Cormann said.

“Through the Interface Improvement Program, Inland Rail is supporting local organisations and individuals to improve their connections to Inland Rail and drive supply chain productivity.

Minister for Regional Health, Regional Communications and Local Government and Federal Member for Parkes, Mark Coulton, said by providing business case support, the II Program will help local organisations, governments and communities make a case for further investment.

“With applications closing soon, this is the last chance for those with big connection ideas to put them forward,” Mr Coulton said.

“We’ve already seen innovative ideas from the first round of the program, but we know there are more out there.

“A one size fits all approach won’t work – Inland Rail stretches across our eastern states and the communities it crosses are diverse. 

“It’s with this in mind that we are seeking input to explore ideas to connect our regions to Inland Rail and maximise the benefits for those communities.”

By providing business case support, the Interface Improvement Program helps local organisations, governments and communities make a case for further investment. 

The Interface Improvement Program does not provide or guarantee funding for projects, however it enables local ideas to be developed for further consideration.

Expressions of Interest for development of business cases in the second round of the Interface Improvement Program can be submitted to the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications before 5pm AEST, 18 September 2020.

For more information on Inland Rail and the Interface Improvement Program, or to submit a proposal, click here.

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