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Inland Rail economic benefits for regional Australia hailed

ECONOMIC benefits from Inland Rail are tipped to flow, with a $67 million contract for culverts to be built in the regional town of Tamworth.

ECONOMIC benefits from Inland Rail are predicted to flow throughout regional Australia with a $67 million contract for culverts to be built in the New South Wales town of Tamworth.

The Narrabri to North Star (N2NS) section of Inland Rail involves the 5100 culverts from Tamworth to be used alongside 116,396 concrete sleepers from Mittagong, 224,939 sleepers from Wagga Wagga and 2474 165-metre long lengths of steel from Whyalla in South Australia.

This is part of an effort by the Australian Rail Track Corporation to foster relationships with Australian companies.

The latest $67 million contract with Holcim is expected to sustain 30 jobs at its Tamworth production line of its Humes factory.

The jobs were enabled as part of a previous $10 million contract to produce and deliver almost 2500 pre-cast concrete culverts for the section of Inland Rail between Parkes and Narromine.

Australian Rail Track Corporation Inland Rail chief executive Richard Wankmuller echoed the Deputy Prime Minister’s recent call to get Inland Rail done.

“We’ve made incredible progress on the project to date, but it is just the beginning for Inland Rail,” Wankmuller said.

“We are looking forward to work with the Deputy Prime Minister and his office  to bring the immense benefits of Inland Rail to communities right across Australia.”

Wankmuller said the Narrabri to North Star section of the project is well underway with more than 300 people working on the project to date.

“There have been 335 people work on the construction project so far with 94 local residents, but there are many more jobs to come and positions that will need to be filled,” he said.

“An accommodation camp was opened last month in Moree to cater for workers and there are dozens of tenders currently being advertised for the project through our construction partners which will result in even more jobs in locations apart from the alignment like here in Tamworth.

“Inland Rail has spent more than $10.5 million with 101 local business in the N2NS alignment, but contracts are not just limited to those nearby towns. Right here in Tamworth culverts are being built and transported to the project alignment.”

Wankmuller said companies across regional Australia with the right skillset were bidding and winning these contracts.

“There are many more opportunities to come as we still have 11 project sections to be built,” he said.

“The effects of construction will be felt for years as Inland Rail moves forward and Australian companies like Holcim continue to invest in the right expertise to get the job done.”

The culverts consist of concrete pipes and boxes, which help manage water flow underneath the track and assist with drainage. Holcim will make around 9400 concrete products for the N2NS project.

Holcim Australia and New Zealand chief executive George Agriogiannis said innovation and sustainability underpinned delivery for Inland Rail.

“Holcim has already delivered more than 22,000 tonnes of carbon neutral culverts for Inland Rail, saving more than 7000 tonnes of carbon emissions, equivalent to removing 1350 vehicles from the road for one year,” Agriogiannis said.

“The new $67 million contract announced today by Australia’s Deputy Prime Minister, includes 9400 products ranging from precast concrete culverts to drainage pipes, weighing more than 70,000 tonnes. Over 19 months, most of these products will be manufactured in regional NSW, supporting local jobs.

“As the global leader in building solutions, Holcim is reinventing how the world builds, to shape a greener, smarter world that works for all. A world that is low-carbon and circular for a net zero future, driven by innovation, to make more with less. That’s why earlier this year Holcim launched Australia’s first carbon neutral concrete, ECOPact Zero, to enable more sustainable construction of houses, buildings and infrastructure,” he said.

“Holcim has been operating in Australia for more than 100 years, including 50 years at Humes Tamworth. Holcim has deep experience and strong capability to supply large scale nation building projects such as Inland Rail. We’re proud to support the Australian government to deliver this once in a generation investment.”