Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack joined representatives from the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) and Liberty Steel in Parkes to make the completion of the first steel delivery from Whyalla.
The milestone coincides with work ramping up on the construction of the North-West Connection, 5.3km of brand new rail, which will link the existing national interstate railway network to Inland Rail.
ARTC’s CEO of the Inland Rail project Richard Wankmuller said it was great to see Aussie steel underpinning Inland Rail and securing Australian steelworker jobs.
“Whyalla steel rail is already used widely for projects across ARTC’s rail network, with Liberty Primary Steel currently supplying three large steel rail contracts concurrently,” he said.
Liberty Primary Steel has been manufacturing approximately 14,000 tonnes of steel rail for transportation to Parkes since being awarded the $20 million contract in December 2017.
Construction is ramping up on Inland Rail in Central West New South Wales, with the first $20 million steel rail contract from Liberty Steel’s Whyalla steelworks successfully delivered.
Liberty Primary Steel Chief Operating Officer Theuns Victor said the it was exciting to see the ‘nation-building’ project being built with Australian steel and benefitting regional communities right across Australia, including Whyalla.
“Our Whyalla steelworks has forged a close relationship with ARTC over many years, and we are continuing to explore opportunities for the possible supply of our high-quality rail into future stages of this vital infrastructure project,” he said.
Mr. Wankmuller said with construction of Inland Rail now ramping up, the benefits and jobs are flowing to regional Australia with other major contracts including concrete sleepers being fabricated in the NSW Southern Highlands, ballast coming from Parkes and culverts produced in Tamworth.
“We are excited to be partnering with regional business, boosting jobs, creating vital infrastructure for Australia’s future. With construction accelerating in the Central West, it’s great to see 60 workers from INLink already working on the Parkes to Narromine section,” he said.
Rail construction works to upgrade the existing infrastructure between Parkes and Narromine to Inland Rail standard will continue into 2020.