Country Lines Improvement Program (CLIP)

The Government has announced eligible proposals under the first round for expressions of interest conducted late 2019. The list of proposals is published on this site. An additional round for expressions of interest is expected to open mid-2020. 

Through the Country Lines Improvement Program (CLIP), the Department will allocate specialist service providers to work with proponents of eligible project to develop feasibility studies and strategic business cases to assess the costs and benefits of proposed improvements to country lines that intersect with Inland Rail, with a view to potentially accommodating longer, heavier and faster trains. The business cases will ultimately inform the Australian Government’s further thinking on Inland Rail connectivity.

Project Principles

CLIP project proposals will be assessed against their contribution to meeting the following objectives:

  • Support National Freight and Supply Chain Priorities, enabling productivity improvements of Inland Rail-connected country rail services through standardised train fleets, harmonisation of below-rail maintenance initiatives, and the use of longer and heavier trains that take advantage of economies of scale opportunities.
  • Support regional economic growth by funding the development of local infrastructure that increases the competitiveness of regional economies and supply chains.
  • Increase Inland Rail throughput relative to proposed expenditure, helping to maximise the benefits realised through the project, drive modal shift from road to rail and safeguard the Commonwealth’s substantial equity investment.
  • Deliver cost-effective improvements to freight movements through strategic investment, based on independent technical advice and in consultation with state governments and track managers.
  • Improve safety for road users through increased use of rail to move freight.
  • Support partnerships between Commonwealth and state governments with local government and industry, and include as appropriate shared funding responsibilities, appropriate risk allocation and improved data sharing.

Project Assessment

Potential projects will initially be assessed against how well they address the Project Principles to determine their eligibility, and to progress through to an appropriate gate of proposal development and assessment: pre-feasibility, feasibility and strategic business case. Gateways allow progress to the next stage of proposal development and assessment when relevant criteria are satisfied.

The assessment criteria for PEP and CLIP projects will differ with respect to:

  • The types of problems the projects seek to solve, and
  • The range of stakeholder support for the project.