Inland Rail is creating more jobs in NSW and QLD with work set to begin on the Narrabri to North Star section and a public-private partnership (PPP) section delivering the 128km of track from Gowrie to Kagaru.

Residents of the northwest are encouraged to take up work on the Narrabri to North Star section of the transformational Inland Rail project.

NSW Nationals Member for Parkes, Mark Coulton, said that construction of Inland Rail from Narrabri to North Star was bringing significant benefits to the region.

“We’re now in an exciting time. As major construction activity gains momentum in the region over the coming months, there are opportunities for local businesses and individuals to take action and get involved.” Mr Coulton said.

“Inland Rail is more than a 1700km rail line – it is establishing a corridor of commerce that offers social and economic prospects for regional Australia.

“More than 500 people are expected to directly work on the construction of Inland Rail from Narromine to North Star – many of these roles will be filled by locals who have the opportunity to deliver a major piece of infrastructure that will provide long-term benefits for our region.”

Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) Inland Rail Chief Executive Officer, Richard Wankmuller, said the use of local suppliers was front of mind for ARTC.

“There will be many more opportunities as Inland Rail progresses, so we encourage local businesses of all shapes and sizes to submit their interest,” Mr Wankmuller said.

“We need the right people and businesses to be involved to deliver the work on-time, on-budget and with minimal disruption.

“If you are a company, a partnership or a sole trader and you think you have a service that could benefit us, it is crucial that we hear from you.”

A work-ready program will be rolled out in the coming months and consists of rail industry training, a range of general civil construction units and site exposure to ensure participants receive a strong introduction to the construction industry.

Meanwhile, thousands of jobs for Queenslanders will be up for grabs as part of the Queensland PPP section of the Inland Rail project.

Local and indigenous business representatives heard from the Australian Rail Track Corporation  and shortlisted consortia Capstone, G2Konnect and Regionerate Rail who are bidding to build the section of Inland Rail from outside Toowoomba at Gowrie to Kagaru near Beaudesert section as part of a Public Private Partnership (PPP). 

ARTC Inland Rail Director of Planning, Communication and Stakeholder Engagement, Rebecca Pickering, said over 200 people attended the session with many Queensland businesses already benefiting from the Inland Rail project. 

“Queensland will be the largest beneficiary of Inland Rail with 11,800 jobs created from  construction and a $7.8 billion boost in Queensland Gross State Product,” Mrs Pickering said.  

“Three world-class consortia have been shortlisted to bid on the construction of the PPP section,  and we expect opportunities for QLD businesses will dramatically increase when the successful  proponent is announced later in the year. 

“The successful contractor will need the support of local businesses in various ways when  construction starts. 

“The information session today is the first opportunity for the local business community to hear  first-hand from the shortlisted companies about their requirements for the project and what kinds of  work will be coming down the pipeline.” 

Mrs Pickering said the Inland Rail project team is committed to using local suppliers and labour  where possible. 

“The PPP section has already generated jobs associated with the geotechnical investigations,  cultural heritage surveys and environmental impact assessments and there are many more  opportunities to come for local businesses,” Mrs Pickering said. 

“It’s not just construction work available, there are also opportunities with Inland Rail in  administration, technical jobs and support services such as transportation drivers, electricians,  traffic control, steel fixing, environmental and rehabilitation work, signage, security and hospitality and accommodation providers too. 

“The project also stimulates Australian manufacturing jobs through supply of materials for this  massive undertaking, such as jobs at quarries, concrete sleeper factories, and other major  suppliers.”

ARTC will name its preferred consortia this year with the final contract to be signed in 2022 with the consortium that delivers the best proposal. 

“This will come at an important time as our national economy continues to rebuild, create jobs and opportunities, especially here in Queensland,” Mrs Pickering said. 

The PPP will deliver the 128km from Gowrie to Kagaru and will include construction of three tunnels totalling 8.5km in length and around 79 viaducts and bridges totalling approximately 16km in length. 

The PPP process will draw on the private sector’s experience and innovation to deliver the world-class engineering solution required to traverse the Great Dividing Range. 

Opportunities relating to the PPP Inland Rail construction include: 

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