The Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) has appointed Australian owned contractor Martinus as the preferred contractor for the delivery of the Rail Corridor Program for Inland Rail sections in NSW and Southern Queensland.
The collaborative framework agreement between the ARTC and Martinus includes about 570 kilometres of railway between Narromine and Moree in NSW to Gowrie in Queensland, taking in the project’s largest greenfield sections.
ARTC Inland Rail Interim Chief Executive Rebecca Pickering said the contract is another milestone for Inland Rail, which will be a catalyst for regional employment and economic opportunity.
“Inland Rail is a game changer for regional Australia. It will transform how we move goods around Australia, better link businesses to markets and generate new opportunities for industries and regions,” she said.
“We’ve already committed more than 600 contracts to businesses in Queensland and nearly 700 in NSW worth more than $1.9 billion across the two states, and this agreement will create even more economic stimulus as the country recovers from the impacts of the pandemic.
“Both sides of the border will benefit significantly from Inland Rail with more than 11,800 direct and indirect jobs in Queensland and 7500 in New South Wales expected at the peak of construction in 2023-24.
“As an Australian owned and operated business, the appointment of Martinus means all the skills, investment, and knowledge gained as a result of this contract will remain in Australia.
“Martinus will employ approximately 600 people at the peak of this work – these are jobs that Inland Rail is directly supporting.”
Martinus Chief Executive and Founder Treaven Martinus said the award of works marks a significant step for the Australian owned contractor and is keen to work with local business and suppliers to help deliver this generational project hand-in-hand with ARTC.
“As an Australian owned business, we understand the importance of supporting local and are committed to playing a key role in helping build and support regional businesses,” he said.
“We have a long history of local spending – last year 84 per cent of our spend was with small Australian-owned businesses. We have seen firsthand the benefits of working with local suppliers and manufacturers to service many of our projects and our approach remains the same here.”
“Martinus are known in the industry as a new age civil and rail contractor focussed on providing development and growth pathways to better service clients through successful delivery of complex projects.
“We’d like to thank ARTC for providing an Australian owned contractor the opportunity to deliver these critical works, all the while providing our company a pathway to become a tier one contractor, creating plenty of opportunities, for our growing team of more than 1000, in NSW and Queensland.”
Pickering said the appointment of the Preferred Proponent for the Rail Corridor Program – the role of laying ballast, sleepers and track – will allow accelerated investment and local opportunities to regional New South Wales and Queensland.
“The rail corridor program is a key component of the broader works within the Border to Gowrie, North Star to Border, Narromine to Narrabri and a part of the Narrabri to North Star sections of Inland Rail,” she said.
“The announcement is a crucial part of the Inland Rail project, as it forms the delivery of the two largest greenfield sections of the railway and the previous ‘missing link’ rail corridor between Queensland and NSW, where no rail line has existed previously.
“Major construction on these sections will not start until statutory approvals have been received from the NSW, Queensland and Australian governments, but the appointment of a preferred proponent is a huge step forward for the project.
“Martinus will now work closely with ARTC to develop strategies to manage supply and logistics for large quantities of long-lead time construction materials.
“These materials will include almost a million concrete sleepers, approximately 80,000 tonnes of steel rail and 1.7 million tonnes of ballast.
“The work will involve the delivery of above-ground works, which includes track construction, rail welding, transportation of materials, and the installation and commissioning of level crossings.
“This appointment at this time also allows Martinus to maximise local jobs and procurement, and they will soon be seeking partnerships with businesses and skilled operators that can support its delivery.”
Work on the Rail Corridor Program will commence next year following completion of the collaborative framework agreement and contract signing.
Track works between Narromine and Gowrie will be completed ahead of Inland Rail operations in 2027.