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A CSIRO pilot study has determined that farmers and manufacturers could receive significant transport savings if they utilise the Inland Rail.
The study reported cost-savings of an average $76 per tonne for horticulture and post-processed food transported on Inland Rail.
The same study is now being further applied to Inland Rail’s southern corridor between Narromine and Seymour, broadening the already significant evidence base underpinning the nation-building project — kicking off with industry and community workshops in regional New South Wales and Victorian communities between 11 and 18 July.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Michael McCormack, said that extending the study corridor will focus on ensuring our regional producers and manufacturers are best placed to seize the amazing opportunities delivered by this nation-building project.
“The data is clear — Inland Rail is a game-changer.
“In order for Inland Rail to deliver its full benefits, industry and community need to be able to identify and plan for its roll-out.
“That is why we are bringing them to the table early, ensuring we have identified the supply chains — grains, cotton, minerals, meat products, wine and bio-oil among others— that will likely be the biggest beneficiaries of Inland Rail.”
The first phase of the study between Narromine and Seymour will be followed by a second phase to be rolled out between Narromine and Toowoomba in July 2020.
“The cost-savings announced in the pilot will be an incredible boost for regional Australia —an average saving of $70 million a year for those commodities alone,” Mr McCormack said.
“Ninety per cent of fresh produce sold in our supermarkets is produced here in Australia. The costsavings for farmers — between paddock and port — will be a significant competitive advantage when accessing new domestic and international markets.
Finance Minister, Mathias Cormann, said that he was pleased to see that the first phase of the CSIRO study on Inland Rail was underway.
“This study will help give industry confidence to invest in our regions and make our economy stronger and more resilient.
“Inland Rail is an important part of our pro-growth agenda. We want our producers to be internationally competitive — ensuring we have cost-competitive freight options is a very important part of that.”
Minister for Regional Services, Decentralisation and Local Government and Assistant Trade and Investment, Mark Coulton, said the Liberal and Nationals Government wants to see Inland Rail deliver benefits for producers and underpin increased economic activity across these regions.
“Phase one of the study will focus on supply chain costs between Narromine and Seymour, which are an important component for market access for our farmers and the nation’s international competitiveness.
“The study will also look at the additional transformative benefits of Inland Rail, because I want to see every community able to make the most of the opportunities that Inland Rail will deliver.
“This important project will better connect our farms, businesses and communities to Australian and international markets to ensure that our regions continue to be viable places to do business.”
This article first appeared on infrastructuremagazine.com.au