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Secretary Update, January 2019

3 January 2019
Australia is a vast country that relies on efficient transport to move people to their destinations, freight to consumers and produce from paddock to port. Rail is a cost effective transport option for freight, particularly over long distances with heavy loads.

Currently 74 per cent of freight between Melbourne and Brisbane is carried by road and Australia’s freight volumes are expected to double within 20 years – rail will play a crucial role in meeting the freight challenge.

Inland Rail trains will be 1,800 metres long with the option to double-stack containers. One of these trains will be able to carry the same volume of freight as 110 B-Double trucks.

Inland Rail will also deliver genuine benefits to farmers and inland Australian communities.

As the railway will pass through four of Australia’s richest farming regions it is expected to draw significant volumes of commodities onto rail. Inland Rail will provide regional communities with an efficient freight transport option that will save them money.

My Department is working with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) to apply CSIRO’s TraNSIT mapping tool along the Inland Rail corridor. I look forward to seeing the potential transport savings to regional supply chains as the study is rolled out during 2019.

Communities are already seeing the benefits of this piece of transformational infrastructure. With construction preparatory activities underway on the Parkes to Narromine project, there have been many procurement opportunities for local suppliers for a range of services: the Inland Rail developer ARTC has let over $600 million in contracts already.

Inland Rail is creating jobs and opportunity, and this is just the beginning.

I am very proud of my Department’s role in this project.

Dr Steven Kennedy
Secretary
Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities