Media Release: Inland Rail will generate jobs and new business opportunities in Central West NSW
A report by Regional Development Australia (RDA) Central West has found that the economic impact of the Inland Rail project to NSW’s Central West region is estimated at $216M over 60 years and that the region is well positioned to benefit from economic and supply chain development.
The report, funded by the NSW Department of Industry, examined the potential opportunities and economic impact of the proposed Inland Rail on Central West NSW.
“Overall, the Inland Rail is expected to have a positive economic impact in Central West NSW both during and post construction,” said RDA Central West Executive Officer, Peter McMillan.
“The study found that around 490 new jobs could be created in the region during the construction phase. Post-construction, we estimate around 150 new jobs in sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing and mining could be created in Parkes, Forbes and Lachlan LGAs alone.”
Mr McMillan said the report had identified several business opportunities in Central West NSW arising from the development of Inland Rail.
“There will be opportunities for the establishment of regional rail services, new business development and expansion of regional freight hubs,” he said. “Parkes, in particular, stands to benefit from the Inland Rail, as the National Logistics Hub is already established and operational, providing opportunities for transferring interstate freight by rail.”
Chair of the Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail Alliance (MBIRA), Parkes Shire Mayor Cr Ken Keith OAM said, “The Inland Rail will connect our region to a global market via the major ports of Australia, placing the Central West region into an economically advantageous position once the project comes into fruition. We compete in global markets and as such transport efficiency is critical to our competiveness”.
“Major investment opportunities are available for businesses looking to capitalise on the region’s strategic potential for logistics, manufacturing and distribution facilities.”
“In addition to employment and investment opportunities, the establishment of a National Logistics Hub in Parkes will offer cheaper, faster and more efficient modal choices, and offer a centralised storage and distribution point for a range of commodities including agricultural products.”
Opportunities arising from the development of the Inland Rail identified in the Report include;
- rail maintenance and provisioning facilities;
- the expansion of the Parkes National Logistics Hub;
- the development of grain handling and distribution centres;
- business relocations;
- short haul freight services;
- and inland container storage facilities.
While the report identified many potential business opportunities in the region, it also identified a “wait and see” philosophy of many regional businesses to planning for opportunities that may arise from the Inland Rail.
“Many businesses in the region rely heavily on trucks as the primary means of transportation. For these businesses, a shift to rail would require significant savings in freight costs, reduced travel times, and high levels of service reliability. As the Inland Rail is yet to be built, businesses are yet to factor rail transport into their future supply chain plans,” said Mr McMillan.
“Once fully operational, the inland rail service will cut hours off the travel time between Parkes and capital cities and will enable train lengths of up to 3.6 kilometres with double stacking of containers,” said Mr McMillan. “This will significantly impact the cost dynamics and make rail freight more competitive. We could expect to see this lead to growth in the volume of freight being consolidated and shipped through Parkes and, ultimately, more local terminal operations jobs – an exciting prospect for the Central West.”
The Report is available for download from the RDA Central West website: http://www.rdacentralwest.org.au/initiatives/inland-rail/
RDA Central West Executive Officer
Peter McMillan 0437 690 808
About Regional Development Australia – Central West
RDA Central West is part of a national network of 55 locally managed, not -for-profit incorporated associations responsible for regional economic development and is jointly funded by the Australian and NSW Governments. Our region extends from Lithgow in the east to Lake Cargelligo in the west and comprises the local government areas of Lithgow, Oberon, Bathurst, Blayney, Orange, Cabonne, Cowra, Parkes, Forbes, Weddin and Lachlan.