To explore the long-term regional opportunities that Inland Rail offers, the Department engaged Ernst and Young (EY) to carry out an in-depth study that includes:
- Computable General Equilibrium (CGE) modelling
- case study analysis of potential economic growth, including international comparisons
- forecasting of potential complementary infrastructure investment along the alignment.
The collaborative research approach and outcomes of the study will support communities, supply chains and industry entities to understand and achieve Inland Rail’s potential benefits.
Regional contributions to the long-term economic benefits study
In August 2019, EY consulted industry and government representatives along the alignment to explore, test and validate the preliminary findings of the research. The consultation aimed to:
- seek stakeholder views on expected changes in business activity and investment
- generate discussion on the opportunities associated with Inland Rail and how local communities can position themselves to maximise the benefits
- inform scenario design inputs for economy wide impact modelling.
Regional workshops were conducted in:
- Toowoomba – Tuesday 6 August 2019.
- Narrabri – Thursday 8 August 2019.
- Wagga Wagga – Monday 12 August 2019.
- Wodonga - Tuesday 13 August 2019.
Current data on regional benefits
The 2015 Inland Rail Business Case identifies a range of economic benefits that will flow to regional communities from the construction and operation of Inland Rail. These benefits are immediately apparent when construction is underway and Inland Rail uses the services of local businesses.
In places where construction is underway, Inland Rail is supporting regional construction jobs and contributing to local economic growth. The local workforce established during construction is a direct benefit, but this new workforce may also have enduring regional impacts, such as more highly-skilled residents, living, working and spending locally.
Initial analysis in a CSIRO Supply Chain Mapping Study suggests that Inland Rail offers a significant transport cost savings that, along with relatively lower operational costs of regional locations, are expected to provide opportunities for new businesses and the expansion of existing businesses within the vicinity of the Inland Rail alignment.
Further studies are being undertaken to complement the economic analysis within the 2015 Business Case and identify potential long-term economic benefits that Inland Rail will create in our regions.