The Australasian Railway Association (ARA) has welcomed the official completion of the Parkes to Narromine section of Inland Rail.
ARA Chief Executive Officer Caroline Wilkie attended the commissioning of the first section of Inland Rail in Peak Hill today, as Deputy Prime Minister Hon Michael McCormack MP drove the final golden commemorative clip to complete the line.
“This is a significant moment for the Inland Rail project, with the Parkes to Narromine line available for use by business and industry in the region,” Ms Wilkie said.
“Inland Rail will drive significant benefits for regional Australia and today’s milestone is just the beginning. We are pleased to see this first part of the project open for business to deliver the first of many benefits to producers and businesses in the region.”
Ms Wilkie said Inland Rail would provide critical rail freight connections to regional Australia, with the community in and around Parkes to be among the first beneficiaries of the project.
“The promise of Inland Rail has already generated significant activity in the Parkes region as the community readies itself for the opportunities better rail freight connections will bring,” she said.
“It is now critical that the project’s swift progress across the rest of the route is supported so even more communities and businesses can benefit in this way.”
Ms Wilkie said Inland Rail would support greater use of rail freight throughout eastern Australia as the national freight task continues to grow in the coming decades.
She said better rail freight connections would take more trucks off regional roads and provide reliable, sustainable and direct connections to key logistics hubs.
“Inland Rail is a truly transformative project that will create jobs, connect businesses to more and more customers and make our regional roads safer,” she said.
Ms Wilkie attended the ceremony to mark the completion of the Parkes to Narromine section with Mr McCormack, Member for Parkes Mark Coulton, Parkes Mayor Ken Keith and a range of industry representatives.