Productivity Enhancement Program (PEP)

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 Productivity Enhancement Program (PEP), the Department will allocate specialist service providers to work with proponents of eligible project to develop feasibility studies and/or strategic business cases to assess the costs and benefits of proposed improvements to the interface between supply chains and Inland Rail, with a view to improving supply chain and community resilience. The business cases will ultimately inform the Australian Government’s further thinking on Inland Rail connectivity.

Project Principles

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

  • Support National Freight and Supply Chain Priorities, enabling productivity improvements to Inland Rail by developing efficient and industry-relevant interfaces with priority regional rail networks.
  • Support regional economic growth by funding the development, re-positioning or
    re-organising of local infrastructure to increase the competitiveness of regional economies and supply chains.
  • Increase Inland Rail throughput, 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 the national rail freight network through strategic investment, based on independent technical advice and in consultation with the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) and state track managers.
  • Improve safety for road users through increased mode shift from road and rail and through strategic investment in the road interfaces with rail.
  • Support partnerships (between Commonwealth and state governments with local government and industry), including shared funding responsibilities, appropriate risk allocation and improved data sharing.
  • Minimise downtime on regional rail lines.

Project Assessment

Potential projects will initially be assessed against how well they address the Project Principles to determine their eligibility, and their capacity 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.