Farmers and landowners will be able to sell construction materials such as rock, gravel and soil from borrow pits and quarries to supply the Inland Rail project.
The Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) will pay an extraction fee per tonne to local landholders near the Narromine to Narrabri segment of the Inland Rail line in Central NSW.
Landowners are encouraged to register their interest with the ARTC to supply the materials, according to the required quality specifications and subject to testing. The ARTC will also rehabilitate the borrow pits and cover them with topsoil.
Locally supplies products will be used to build the embankments as part of rolling out the 1700 kilometres Brisbane to Melbourne Inland Rail project.
The $9.3 billion Inland Rail project aims to reduce freight costs for farmers and move product more efficiently into domestic international markets.
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Acting Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack welcomed the local supply initiative.
“It is estimated that the Narromine to Narrabri segment of the Inland Rail project will need to import in excess of 3 million cubic metres of fill material, or the equivalent of about 1,200 Olympic-sized swimming pools,” McCormack said.
“This provides an excellent opportunity for local landholders to experience the shared benefits of the Inland Rail, even before the 1700 kilometres of track is completed and carrying double-stacked trains to move more produce into domestic and international markets, at a lower freight cost.”
Minister for Finance Mathias Cormann said this local supply opportunity was another example of the Inland Rail project delivering tangible economic benefits.
“Inland Rail will drive significant investment in regional communities through the creation of around 16,000 direct and indirect jobs and a $16 billion contribution to the national economy,” Cormann said.
Assistant Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Mark Coulton said the supply opportunity is a good news story for local landholders.
“As this section of the Inland Rail project progresses, local opportunities with shared economic benefits will become available,” Coulton said.
“This will include tendering for plant and geotechnical equipment, mobile camps, concrete supply services, fencing, earthmoving, drainage, electrical works, concrete works, security, and water bore drilling.
Inland Rail Narromine to Narrabri Project Director Duncan Mitchell said materials will need testing to confirm their suitability for supply, which will require geotechnical work and appropriate permission from landowners.
“The ARTC will review all submissions and contact landowners to discuss the next steps and answer any questions related to investigations,” Mitchell said.
Local landowners can register their interest with the ARTC to supply materials until 28 January 2019.
Competent rock, which can be used to produce ballast rock, will also be considered, from sites located up to 50km from the study area.