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Inland Rail and the “missing link”

Martinus Rail CEO and founder Treaven Martinus recently addressed the Inland Rail conference in Albury about bringing real benefits to regional centres.

INLAND Rail is set to be an enabler for many new opportunities in regional Australia, Treaven Martinus says.

Treaven Martinus is the founder and chief executive of Martinus Rail and was one of the keynote speakers at the Inland Rail conference in Albury, held on conjunction with the Australian Logistics Council and the Australasian Railway Association.

Speaking to Rail Express after the event, Treaven Martinus said the Inland Rail project was “an enabler for many new opportunities – not just within the rail space but within local communities”.

“It’s clear that this project is the ‘missing link’ to providing further local economic prosperity and connecting these thriving regional areas to the rest of the world,” he said.

Martinus talked about the economic benefits of the project.

“It was great to hear about the investment opportunities particularly within the manufacturing and new business space,” he said.

“This will go a long way in sustaining our economy and supporting regional businesses.”

Martinus described Inland Rail as “a game changer” for the industry, particularly rail contractors and noted the effect of the broader rail construction boom on demand for skilled staff.

“It’s a booming infrastructure construction market at the moment, so we’ve definitely positioned ourselves and grown to meet the demand,” he said.

“Training and upskilling have been and will continue to be one of the main reasons we have the capability and capacity to deliver the projects we are delivering now and into the future.”

He said it was fantastic to see the federal budget allocating substantial support towards skills development, including $2.7 billion for the Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements program.

“Martinus has always had a strong focus on training and up-skilling our people and providing them with opportunities to excel in an industry which offers endless opportunities,” he said.

“This investment will enable us to continue investing in the best, provide training opportunities to upskill workers from various industries to prepare the industry and its workforce to deliver an unprecedented number of rail projects across Australia.

“It’s great to be able to invest in the younger generation and teach them everything we know and love about rail.’

In the last quarter of 2020, it was announced that Martinus Rail had purchased “major multi-million dollar pieces of machinery” and Treaven Martinus said the logic remained sound.

“To de-risk construction projects it was working on, Martinus made the decision to purchase the plant, machinery, and equipment and recruit their own team to overhaul and maintain the growing fleet,” he said.

“We have a team of rolling stock engineers, logistics managers and our national plant manager Dave Van Hoos has established a self-performing plant department in Southeast Queensland. The team includes a maintenance team of 35 fitters, project managers, engineers and support staff.

“It’s essentially about de-risking project delivery and overall business risk. We control all the pieces of the puzzle; we recruit all of our own labourers, engineers, and supervisors, plus our strong financial position and current project pipeline means we can significantly invest in our own plant and machinery.”

Martinus has a team of 900 staff, employed both in Australia and overseas.