Photo caption: Federal Member for Parkes and Minister for Regional Health, Regional Communications and Local Government Mark Coulton met with Auscott General Manager Commercial and Water Resources Bernie George to discuss Auscott’s successful project proposal through the Inland Rail Interface Improvement Program.
2021-2022 Budget to deliver jobs and growth
Last year’s Federal Budget was the best regional Australia had ever seen and this year’s Budget will build on that record again, with our regional and rural communities at the heart of the next phase of Australia’s economic recovery plan to grow our economy and boost jobs.
At Beef Australia last week, I was thrilled to announce that the Government is investing an extra $130 million into the hugely popular Regional Connectivity Program to improve connectivity in regional, rural and remote communities.
I also announced a $65 million investment to increase the Rural Bulk Billing Incentive based on remoteness to boost bulk billing rebates and provide greater financial incentives for doctors to work in regional Australia.
This Budget will also include a record $250 million into a sixth round of the successful Building Better Regions Fund to deliver shovel-ready infrastructure projects for regional Australia, as well as more than $5.7 million for a new Rebuilding Regional Communities Program to enhance the process of recovery for communities affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The cost of living will be cut for around a quarter of a million families with the Morrison-McCormack Government to make an additional $1.7 billion investment in childcare to help boost workforce participation.
We’ve also announced an extra $3.5 billion for projects through the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund, which includes funding for the business case development of the Nyngan to Cobar Pipeline Upgrade. Biosecurity funding will also be increased by $371 million to protect Australians and our agriculture industry.
Shovels to hit the ground on $9 million worth of projects
Shovels will soon be hitting the ground across the Parkes electorate as more than $9 million worth of projects have been approved under Phase Two of the Government’s $1.5 billion Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program (LRCI).
It’s great to see councils in the Parkes electorate are getting on with spending this money, which will not only improve local roads and provide for new and upgraded amenities across the region, it will also support job creation, construction businesses and economic growth.
Under Phase Two of the LRCI Program, funding allocations have been made to Bogan, Broken Hill, Dubbo, Gilgandra, Gwydir, Lachlan, Narrabri, Narromine and Warrumbungle councils for a total of 53 projects.
Projects range from the $690,000 reconstruction of failed road pavement and stormwater infrastructure in Tamworth Street, Dubbo to the installation of bicycle and walking paths in Broken Hill, oval upgrades in the Warrumbungle Shire and swimming pool upgrades in the Lachlan Shire.
The LRCI program is proving to be a very successful way for the Federal Government to partner with councils on the delivery of local priorities.
Local organisations look to capitalise on Inland Rail
Last week I visited Auscott Narrabri to chat about their plans to lengthen two sidings at the Narrabri Siding and incorporate two additional turnouts to capitalise on the benefits of Inland Rail.
This project proposal is one of seven in the Parkes electorate to receive expert technical support to build business cases and undertake studies that test the merits and feasibility of each proposal, through the Inland Rail Interface Improvement Program.
Other successful projects in the Parkes electorate include:
- Gilgandra Shire Council to investigate an intermodal terminal or freight precinct in Curban
- Lachlan Shire Council to investigate the viability of a warehousing and logistics centre near Condobolin
- Narromine Shire Council to develop an Industrial Precinct and Freight Exchange at Narromine to service the Inland Rail route and the regional rail network.
- Louis Dreyfus Company to investigate an expansion or upgrade of its existing Moree intermodal facility.
- Pacific National to investigate a rail upgrade to interface with the future Moree Special Activation Precinct.
- Transport for NSW to develop a siding near the Dubbo Regional Rail maintenance facility and upgrading of the Narrabri West yard including sidings to cater to 25 TAL freight trains.
These projects will help enhance supply chain productivity in these areas and realise the potential of Inland Rail.
Find out more about the II Program and the successful proposals at https://www.inlandrail.gov.au/regional-development/interface-improvement-program