Freight Rail

Inland Rail study to be expanded

A CSIRO study into the benefits of Inland Rail to farmers and manufacturers will be extended to further convince such stakeholders of the benefits of the major project.

Infrastructure minister Michael McCormack on July 11 said a CSIRO study would be extended to the stretch of Inland Rail between Narromine and Seymour, ahead of industry and community workshops in regional NSW and Victoria.

The same study in March determined cost savings of an average $76 per tonne when it examined the potential for the Parkes to Narromine section of the project.

“The data is clear — Inland Rail is a game-changer,” McCormack said. “In order for Inland Rail to deliver its full benefits, industry and community need to be able to identify and plan for its roll-out.

“That is why we are bringing them to the table early, ensuring we have identified the supply chains — grains, cotton, minerals, meat products, wine and bio-oil among others— that will likely be the biggest beneficiaries of Inland Rail.”

McCormack said the first phase of the CSIRO study between Narromine and Seymour will be followed by a second phase to be rolled out between Narromine and Toowoomba in July 2020.

“The cost-savings announced in the pilot will be an incredible boost for regional Australia —an average saving of $70 million a year for those commodities alone,” he said.

“Ninety per cent of fresh produce sold in our supermarkets is produced here in Australia. The cost savings for farmers — between paddock and port — will be a significant competitive advantage when accessing new domestic and international markets.”

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