The second round of the $44 million Inland Rail Interface Improvement Program has opened, giving farmers, local and state governments, industry and community another chance to put forward project ideas to better connect to Inland Rail and the benefits of fast, efficient and cost-competitive freight rail.
That’s why I’m urging local businesses and communities in the Parkes electorate to bring forward local ideas to maximise our connections with Inland Rail.
At a time when the COVID-19 pandemic is taking a toll on our economy, Inland Rail is well-positioned to boost our regional economy.
The II Program is about exploring ideas and options to get the most out of Inland Rail for communities along the alignment. It takes project ideas from local innovators and matches them with specialist businesses advisors, helping them meet industry requirements to bring projects one step closer to attracting funding — turning ideas into bricks and mortar infrastructure.
By providing business case support, the Program helps proponents make a case for further investment.
From an intermodal freight terminal at Gunnedah to road upgrades for a rail spur in Croppa Creek -the projects that are moving forward under the II Program could make a real difference to local communities, because we know that the connections to Inland Rail will create a chain reaction for investment that brings long-term benefits to regional Australia.
With the commitment of industry, community and governments, we will see the benefits of rail boost our regions, along with the opportunities it brings for our producers and manufacturers.
The feedback I am receiving from the first round of proposals is overwhelmingly positive, with these project proposals having made significant progress through the assessment process.
The second round of EOIs is another chance to bring local knowledge and expertise to the table to support more efficient supply chains, improved connectivity to country rail lines and to ensure opportunities from Inland Rail are realised for towns and communities in the Parkes electorate.
Through the Interface Improvement Program, we are taking important steps to invest in the broader national freight network and increase the market opportunities for our manufacturers, producers and growers.
I strongly encourage interested parties to submit their project proposals to the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications by 18 September 2020.
For more information on Inland Rail and the Interface Improvement Program, or to submit a proposal visit www.InlandRail.gov.au/IIP
If you require further details or support, please contact my Dubbo office on 6882 0999.