Nationals leader Michael McCormack has featured Inland Rail in the Government’s latest election push, saying it demonstrates the Coalition’s commitment to regional communities and jobs.
McCormack was joined by finance minister Mathias Cormann, a Liberal senator for Western Australia, to witness the final 14,000 tonnes of Australian steel delivered to the Parkes to Narromine section of the Inland Rail project on February 25.
With a federal election looming, McCormack and Cormann discussed the importance of projects reliant on Australian materials, and Australian jobs.
“The Liberal and Nationals Government’s investment in Inland Rail is about more than building a rail freight line,” McCormack said, “it is about investing in regional communities and building a nation that can meet the challenges of the next century and beyond.”
McCormack said it was “fitting that strong Australian steel will lay the foundation of our future freight network”.
His colleague, Cormann, referred to the economic benefits of the Inland Rail project, which is building a heavy-duty freight railway between Brisbane and Melbourne via regional Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria.
“Inland Rail is an investment in Australia’s future economic success, creating market diversifying opportunities for industry and complementary investment opportunities for regional Australia,” the finance minister said.
“Inland Rail is a $9.3 billion investment by our Liberal-Nationals Government, which will drive improved productivity and competitiveness.”
McCormack noted the final steel delivery coincided with the ramp-up of construction on a new 5.3-kilometre section of rail to connect the Broken Hill Line to Inland Rail.