The Economic Benefits
Inland Rail will support thousands of jobs for New South Wales, with 1,029km of the total 1,600km Inland Rail line to be built or upgraded in New South Wales.
Construction in New South Wales includes:
- 185km of upgraded track from Albury to Illabo
- 37km of new track and 2km of upgraded track from Illabo to Stockinbingal
- 170km enhancement of specific sites between Stockinbingal to Parkes
- 99km of upgraded track and 5km of new track from Parkes to Narromine
- 306km of new track from Narromine to Narrabri
- 184km of upgraded track and 2km of new track from Narrabri to North Star
- 25km of upgraded track and 14km of new track from North Star to the New South Wales/Queensland border
The first section of Inland Rail construction between Parkes and Narromine was completed in September 2020 and supported:
- work for more than 1,800 people, including 762 local residents, 197 of whom identify as Indigenous
- 99 local businesses benefiting from the almost $110 million spent locally on supplies and services.
The second section between Narrabri and North Star (N2NS) commenced construction in November 2020, and as at May 2023 has supported the following:
- work for more than 2,100 people, including 678 local residents, 371 of whom identify as Indigenous.
137 local businesses benefiting from over $239 million spent locally on supplies and services. Our project delivery partner, Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC), is working with local communities and businesses in the N2NS project section to deliver Inland Rail and has reported employment and economic benefits as of May 2023.
Inland Rail is currently benefiting New South Wales businesses, with 767 contracts committed at a value of $1.23 billion as of December 2022.
In New South Wales, Inland Rail includes upgrades to more than 600km of existing track and the construction of over 300km of new rail line.
Regional New South Wales
Regional New South Wales is Australia's most diverse and largest economy and home to 40% of the state's population, which contributes 8.3% to Australia'a gross domestic product (GDP).
The freight, logistics and distribution sector contributed $6.4 billion to the New South Wales state economy in 2018 and is expected to grow in the years ahead.
Home to the nation's largest city, Sydney, the state is a hub for innovation, population diversity and a popular business destination.
Inland Rail taps into and boosts the economic potential of New South Wales. It will enhance existing freight infrastructure, making it easier for businesses, farms, mines, cities and ports to connect to domestic and international markets.
There will be 200,000 fewer heavy vehicle movements on New South Wales roads each year in 2050 – diverted from the Newell, Hume and Pacific Highways. Each train on Inland Rail will replace 110 trucks.
Recognising telecommunications are an economic and social enabler, the Australian Government is exploring options to enhance regional telecommunications services for communities along the alignment while delivering the system requirements and coverage for Inland Rail trains.
In June 2023, new mobile phone infrastructure was activated at North Star and Gurley to enable improved connectivity for trains to operate in this area.
In addition to the North Star and Gurley sites, work has commenced for additional telecommunications infrastructure at Croppa Creek and Crooble, north-east of Moree.
- There are 42 Local Government Areas (LGAs) that lie in proximity to the Inland Rail alignment in New South Wales.
- As of June 2022, this region was home to approximately 641,225 people and includes the inland cities of Wagga Wagga, Orange, Dubbo and Tamworth.
- In 2021 there were 278,586 people employed in the region with the agriculture,forestry and fishing sectors collectively employing 11.5% of the regions total employment.
- In 2022, the 3 major ports in the state comprising Newcastle, Sydney and Port Kembla accounted for one third of the total value of all Australian maritime imports and 16% of exports.
- >In the 10-year period to 2022, imports through these ports grew at an average of 2.8% per year.
Industry Growth & Investment
A $400 million program developed by Transport for New South Wales is providing funding for targeted regional freight infrastructure projects and is aimed at improving freight connectivity to enable the efficient movement of freight.
In July 2019, the New South Wales state Government announced a number of sites for New South Wales' first Special Activation Precincts, specifically, Parkes, Bomen Business Park in Wagga Wagga and Moree.
Investigations as to the suitability of Narrabri as a Special Activation Precinct was subsequently announced in November 2020.
The following hubs are local initiatives that will present investment opportunities for transport and logistic operators and complement industry throughout New South Wales.
Southern New South Wales
Parkes Special Activation Precinct (SAP)
A New South Wales state Government led initiative which will create new jobs in the freight and logistics industry and optimise opportunities in the agricultural industry. Parkes was the first official SAP to be announced taking advantage of location, business development opportunities and employment growth offered by the east-west rail line and the Inland Rail project, placing Parkes at the crossroads of Australia.
Construction of enabling works for the Parkes Special Activation Precinct commenced in October 2021 to deliver service roads and associated utilities works. In October 2022, Masterpet was the first business to open in the Parkes Special Activation Precinct. The $82 million pet food manufacturing facility, covering over 12,000 square metres, has created 60 jobs for local residents and will service surrounding communities.
Wagga Wagga Special Activation Precinct (SAP)
A New South Wales state Government led initiative, which will create long-term job opportunities, attract businesses and investors and drive economic growth. The precinct is investigating an area of around 4100 hectares, with 300 hectares already developed as part of the Bomen Business Park. The Wagga Wagga SAP is set to be an excellent business precinct and will capitalise on Inland Rail and focus on advanced manufacturing, agribusiness, freight, and logistics.
As of late 2022, the Wagga Wagga Special Activation Precinct is in the delivery phase with enabling infrastructure works underway and is being led by Wagga Wagga City Council.
Parkes National Logistics Hub
A Parkes Shire Council led initiative, 600ha intermodal site uniquely positioned at the intersection of the East West rail line, the North South Newell Highway and Inland Rail. Designed to deliver unprecedented efficiencies and major investment opportunities for transport and logistics operators, manufacturers, freight forwarders, agri-businesses and service industries.
As part of the Inland Rail Independent Review recommendations, the Department, together with the NSW Government, is investigating the development of independently managed open access intermodal facility at Parkes. This work will led by the National Intermodal Corporation to complement and enhance the established Parkes National Logistics Hub.
Ettamogah Rail Hub
A privately owned and operated intermodal facility in southern-New South Wales is positioned adjacent to the Inland Rail line and is expanding operations to facilitate freight movements and transfers along the corridor.
In Budget 2020 the Australian Government committed $2.6 million to support the delivery of 5km of new arrival and departure sidings so that trains calling at the hub can pull off the single track mainline.
Construction of the siding was completed in May 2021.
Northern New South Wales
Northern New South Wales Inland Port
A Narrabri Shire Council led initiative that will present major investment opportunities for transport and logistics operators, manufacturers, agri-business and service providers, and offer a competitive advantage to businesses requiring national and global distribution.
In Budget 2020 the Australian Government committed $7.75 million to support the construction of a 1,800m rail siding with slip road infrastructure to facilitate rail loading and storage capability at the New South Wales Inland Port logistics and Freight Hub in Narrabri.
Moree Special Activation Precinct (SAP)
A New South Wales state Government led initiative, which will create long-term job opportunities attract businesses and investors and drive economic growth. The Moree SAP, and its associated Master Plan, seeks to create a thriving business hub that will take advantage of its location in the middle of the most productive grain region in Australia, leveraging the Inland Rail route and the Newell Highway. The Precinct would create a new business hub that specialises in agribusiness, logistics and food processing industries.
Moree Intermodal Overpass
This funding will also enable construction of additional connecting roads to ensure there are effective links between the Newell Highway and Inland Rail.
The tender process for the project is expected to occur in 2023.
CSIRO Supply Chain Mapping Project
To better understand how Inland Rail could reduce transport costs and make supply chains more efficient, we partnered with the Commonwealth Scientific Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) to map and model the transport cost reductions available to businesses that use Inland Rail.
The results of the CSIRO Supply Chain Mapping Study showed an average transport cost reduction of 31% for freight moving to New South Wales, providing potential savings of $7 million in transport costs each year.
Grade separating road interfaces
In October 2020, the Australian Government committed $150 million in funding for a Grade Separating Road Interfaces project. An additional $300 million commitment for grade separating road interfaces with Inland Rail was made as part of the 2022‑23 Budget.
The project is a joint venture between the Australian Government and the New South Wales Government, who have also agreed to commit an additional $75 million in line with an 80:20 funding split.
This will bring its total contribution to $112.5 million, for a total combined project funding of $562.5 million.
The funding is expected to enable additional grade separations along the Inland Rail alignment in New South Wales. The Australian and New South Wales governments are working constructively to implement the funding commitment.
These additional grade separations for road and rail intersections will:
- add to the multiple grade separated crossings already in scope along the alignment
- improve the efficiency of the road network and boost productivity for freight users
- support economic recovery and jobs in communities
- improve safety outcomes by reducing the number of level crossings.
The Australian Government is committed to focussing on nationally significant land transport infrastructure projects and is undertaking a strategic review of its investments across Australia through its Infrastructure Investment Program (IIP).
An independent Strategic Review (Strategic Review) of the IIP will be undertaken within 90 days, which will provide advice to the Government as to whether federally funded infrastructure projects meet government policy objectives and deliver benefits for Australians.
The 2023-24 Budget, including the Strategic Review, will lay the foundation for a more sustainable, credible, nation-building IIP while contributing to budget repair.