The Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) has selected a Castlemaine-based manufacturer to supply turnouts for the Inland Rail project.
The $80m contract will see turnouts made in the regional Victorian town of Castlemaine, highlighting the local benefits of the Inland Rail project, said Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack.
“The Australian government’s investment in Inland Rail is delivering a world-class freight backbone that will stimulate economic growth, build supply chain resilience and enhance market access,” he said.
“But local industries and suppliers will benefit right now as shown by the signing of this major contract.”
Finance Minister Simon Birmingham said that well before trains begin running the full length of the 1,700km line, businesses in Australia are already benefiting.
“Inland Rail continues to drive economic activity throughout the construction phase and the local manufacture of this critical part of rail infrastructure reinforces the positive flow-on effects of this project right through our economy,” he said.
“Inland Rail is backing businesses and jobs for Australians including across regional Victoria at a time when we need them most.”
Senator for Victoria Sarah Henderson said the contract was a win for the region and the state.
“This represents a very big boost for regional Victoria.”
Once operational, Inland Rail will continue to grow regional economies said Minister for Regional Health, Regional Communications and Local Government Mark Coulton.
“Construction of Inland Rail is delivering significant benefits to businesses and people in regional Australia – but Inland Rail will deliver much more, it will deliver the long-term boost that regional Australia deserves.”
The contract includes 200 turnouts and will enable manufacturer Vossloh Cogifer to hire an additional 32 staff.
Other contracts have gone to local suppliers of rail, ballast, culverts, sleepers, and rail clips.
“[This] is but one example of the opportunities for manufacturers in Australia to supply a number of products for Inland Rail, providing much needed employment that will grow and sustain business. And it is providing the confidence to hire more staff,” said McCormack.