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Long-Term Opportunities from Inland Rail

The Inland Rail offers a clear track for further investment into northern New South Wales, with an economic study released last week by the Australian Government outlining growth in food processing, logistics hubs and consumer warehousing in towns along the rail line. The Northern NSW Long-Term Regional Opportunities report shows a significant boost to jobs and investment in the area as a direct result of the project.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the study was a call-to-arms for small and big business to take advantage of the enhanced connectivity and cost-competitive supply chains created by Inland Rail. “The report shows Inland Rail is capable of supporting another 310 full-time jobs by 10 years of operation and could boost gross regional product by up to $1.7 billion over a 50-year period,” Mr McCormack said.

“Our Government is committed to supporting Australian industry by creating opportunities to keep business open and economies growing. Inland Rail will provide benefits in regional communities for decades to come so we want to see industries expand outside metropolitan areas by taking advantage of the significant infrastructure we are delivering, lower land costs, resources and the ready and willing regional workforce. We want Australia to be in the best position to not only recover from the disruptions caused by COVID-19, but thrive after the immediate threat has passed with all levels of Government working together to drive economic resilience and support jobs in our regions.”

Minister for Regional Health, Regional Communications and Local Government and Federal Member for Parkes, Mark Coulton, welcomed the report and the opportunities highlighted for the region. “This report is an endorsement of what our Government has always known – Inland Rail is a transformational project that is going to deliver lasting opportunities for business,” Minister Coulton said. “The time is now for industry to start planning for the coming decades and strategically position themselves to build resilience in their supply chains and take full advantage of the huge benefits Inland Rail is going to offer.”

“The report includes industry case studies for Narrabri and Gunnedah – but what this report shows us is that there are opportunities for industry throughout northern New South Wales and not just along the 1700-kilometre line. I want regional communities in northern New South Wales to have the same opportunities as metropolitan and coastal communities. Northern NSW is in a strong position to maximise the opportunities presented by Inland Rail.”

The study region for the report includes 16 local government areas that are approximately 50km east and 100km west of the Inland Rail alignment. It includes the Northern Inland Local Government Areas of Moree Plains, Narrabri, Gunnedah, Liverpool Plains, Tamworth Regional, Gwydir and Inverell.

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