Parkes' rail future key in Canberra talks

PARKES’ key role in the full Melbourne-to-Brisbane Inland Rail network was in focus in Canberra today, with local Mayor Ken Keith, Riverina Nationals’ MP Michael McCormack and Federal Infrastructure Minister Darren Chester meeting to discuss its importance.

“Like many locals, I know what a great future the Melbourne-to-Brisbane Inland Rail network can bring to Parkes and across the Central West,” Mr McCormack said.

“Whether you’re a farmer who wants to make sure your product gets to market or one of the many small businesses set to benefit from the massive multiplier effect of this investment, Parkes is certainly central to the Melbourne-to-Brisbane plan.

“That’s why I wanted to sit down with Ken Keith and representatives from Parkes Council alongside the Infrastructure Minister soon after Parliament resumed.”

Parkes Mayor Ken Keith OAM, who is the Chair of the Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail Alliance, said the project has Parkes Shire Council’s backing and praised the opportunity to meet with Minister Chester.

“I am very pleased this project is a focal point for the Government. Council shares this passion and wants to help see local job and investment opportunities grow throughout the Shire,” Cr Keith said.

“Parkes will continue to be a critical hub for the management of Australia’s freight in the future, which will mean we can all benefit from more jobs, better investment and greater efficiencies in the getting product to market.”

Infrastructure Minister Darren Chester said the Coalition Government provided an additional $594 million to the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) in May’s Federal Budget so they can get on with the job of delivering Inland Rail.

“The Government is focused on making inland rail a reality. This investment starts the pre-construction work to bring the benefits of inland rail to communities across regional areas in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland,” Mr Chester said.

Further information on inland rail can be found here:

Cristy Houghton