Source: Australian Infrastructure Magazine - 11 December, 2019
The Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) has revealed the three construction firms shortlisted for a new multi-million-dollar Inland Rail contract.
The shortlisting follows a rigorous expression of interest process, which drew an extremely high standard of responses from local and interstate construction firms.
The three tenderers in line for the project are Leadlease Engineering, RailFirst (a joint venture between Downer EDI and Seymour White), and Trans4m Rail (a joint venture between Rhomberg Rail Australia, BGC Contracting and SEE Civil).
The contract involves the delivery of main works for the Narrabri to North Star (N2NS) section of Inland Rail.
The scope of works for this section of N2NS will upgrade approximately 171km of existing track between Narrabri and North Star, including the construction of multiple bridges.
This section has been divided into two portions (separable portion 1 and separable portion 2 – SP1 and SP2) to enable the more complex hydrology of the 15km floodplain between the Mehi and Gwydir rivers north of Moree to be further investigated, while the remaining 174km upgrade progresses on schedule. Here, this project refers to the SP1 section of works.
This project is integral to the overall rolling out of the once-in-a-generation Inland Rail, which will redefine the freight task across Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland.
Inland Rail Chief Executive Officer, Richard Wankmuller, said the project’s next works package will be awarded to the very best available team and ARTC is now entering a formal Request for Tender phase to determine who will be chosen.
“The successful contractor for this portion of the work will be required to deliver initiatives and meet targets related to industry participation, employment and workforce development with the Inland Rail team working closely with them to achieve these targets,” Mr Wankmuller said.
As the overall program proceeds, Inland Rail’s goal is to create meaningful change in communities along the alignment by creating a pathway to support longer term employment outcomes.
Mr Wankmuller said he believes Inland Rail will result in many benefits for regional centres such as Narrabri, Moree and Goondiwindi, as well as smaller centres.
“I know there is excitement building in the N2NS section as we move towards construction next year and local companies are looking to be ready to hit the ground running once the successful tenderer is announced,” he said.
“In order to help local companies get ready, three regional supplier briefings are being held this week for local businesses. These briefings are intended to help get as many people as possible involved with the project.
“From the outset Inland Rail has had a focus on creating opportunities for regional workforces and we are also engaging with businesses right across Australia to fill the contracts for the project’s build.
“We see Inland Rail as a way to create meaningful change in communities along the alignment by developing a pathway to support longer term employment outcomes. Companies can register for the N2NS project-related subcontract or supply opportunity via ICN Gateway at gateway.icn.org.au.”Investment outlook for Australian infrastructure remains strongA recently released report from Infrastructure Partnerships Australia and Perpetual Corporate Trust confirms Australia’s ongoing position as a globally...
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Despite the trying times of drought, and the downturn in the agricultural and retail sector across the state, the Parkes economy has been given some reprieve thanks to government and private sector investment.
Currently Parkes is experiencing unprecedented investment by the three levels of government - State, Federal and Local who are injecting millions of dollars' into infrastructure projects including Inland Rail, the proposed Parkes Special Activation Precinct, the Newell Highway Bypass, and local projects such as the Parkes Main Street Revitalisation, Cooke Park Multipurpose Centre, Parkes Library upgrade and Central West Family Daycare expansion.
This investment by government has given the private sector the confidence to invest in Parkes with companies like Pacific National investing in a $35 million Parkes Terminal Development and the recent approval of a $23 million advanced food manufacturing facility.
In addition to investment in the Parkes National Logistics Hub, over the next twelve months we will see the construction of a new solar farm, $200 million expansion of Northparkes Mines and progression of Clean TeQ's $2 billion Sunrise Mine project.
Parkes Shire Council's General Manager Kent Boyd PSM said a total of 165 development consents were issued by Council in the 2018-19 year at a value of $66 million, an increase of 176% based on the previous year.
"This spike in activity is a result of more industrial and commercial developments which help provide diversity in the local economy and an opportunity for businesses to leverage alternative sources of income," he said.
"Parkes Shire Council has been working toward Inland Rail for over 20 years, ensuring Parkes is investment ready.
"We [Council] put aside land for the National Logistics Hub to ensure the community was in a position to capitalise on the strategic location of the east-west north-south link.
"We have made sure we have appropriately-zoned land ready for investment and the confidence that this has put into the economy has seen investors knocking on the door.
"The level of interest we have received over the past 18 months has reaffirmed our commitment to careful planning for Parkes' economic future, including avoiding ad-hoc development around the Parkes Hub which may limit the potential of this nationally-significant intermodal facility.
"Council has proactively invested in essential infrastructure such as new water and sewage treatment plants, airports, roads and public amenity to support the future population growth as a result of these major developments.
"We are thrilled to be working with NSW Government who share our vision to take the Parkes National Logistics Hub to the next stage.
In July 2018, the Deputy Premier announced that Parkes would become the State's first Special Activation Precinct to accelerate business development with streamlined approval processes and enabling infrastructure.
The investigation and planning for the Parkes Special Activation Precinct is well under way.
The State Government is currently doing a detailed investigation of the area and are hoping to release their findings and recommendations soon.
The Special Activation Precinct will be designed to take advantage of the unique economic opportunities of Parkes' strategic location at the epicentre of the national freight and logistics network.
Efficient transport with inland port capabilities will be the catalyst for export orientated business to add value to the region's produce, and we want the regions producers to receive some of the uplift from that value-adding.
The region has some of the best produce in the world and it would be refreshing to see some of the uplifted value stay in the region rather than be exported out in bulk.
"It has been a long-term vision of the Parkes Shire Community to develop Parkes as a National Logistics Hub and Inland Port, and now the Special Activation Precinct will provide a step- change towards this vision," Kent said.
"This is a "moonshot" for the region and we intent to make the most of it!"
For more information about the Parkes National Logistics Hub visit www.parkeshub.com.au
This time from the Regional Development Australia Website
CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL ARTICLE
The draft master plan outlines how land should be used across the 4800 hectare purposely-zoned precinct, what businesses could exist and operate there, and how an eco-industrial hub can be established and thrive.
"We are excited to be working with the NSW Government on the next step towards our community's long-term vision of developing Parkes as a National Logistics Hub and Inland Port," Parkes Shire Council's General Manager, Kent Boyd said.
"The state's first Special Activation Precinct will be designed to take advantage of the unique economic opportunities of Parkes' strategic location at the epicentre of the national freight and logistics network and will create up to 3000 jobs over the next two decades, adding to the diversity of our economy especially in times of drought.
"The establishment of Parkes as an inland port will be the catalyst for export orientated business to add value to the region's produce, and we want the region's producers to receive some of the uplift from that value-adding.
"The region has some of the best produce in the world and it would be refreshing to see some of the uplifted value stay in the region rather than be exported out in bulk."
Mr Boyd is encouraging residents to take the opportunity to have their say during the consultation period and help "Parkes reach its full potential", he said.
As part of the investigations, Mr Boyd said an independent consultant identified land owned by Parkes Shire Mayor Ken Keith OAM as one of the parcels that was strategically important to the Hub.
"The identification process also noted that the farm has been in the Mayor's family for almost 100 years," he said.
"None the less, to protect against potential conflict of interest, Parkes Shire Council has robust procedures in place to ensure there is no question about probity."
Mr Boyd referred to the Parkes National Logistics Hub Probity Plan, which describes the principles to be applied, the processes to be used and the controls that will be implemented to promote the integrity of any land acquisitions and ensure that all aspects of the process continue to be above reproach and fair to all.
The Parkes National Logisitics Hub Probity Plan can be found on council's website, www.parkes.nsw.gov.au/business-investment/national-logistics-hub/parkes-special- activation-precinct/
The 'Explanation of Intended Effect (EIE) on a proposed new Activation Precincts State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP)' is also on public exhibition, which is a new planning framework to streamline approval processes for investors.
This is open for community feedback until October 20.
To view the draft master plan and to have your say, visit the NSW Government's Planning Portal www.planningportal.nsw.gov.au/exhibition
(Source: Press Release The Hon Michael McCormack, Deputy PM and Minister for Infrasatructure, Transport and Regional Development - 30/08/2019)
Freight trains travelling from the east and west will next month be running on the transformational Inland Rail North-West Connection following the completion of construction on the first section of the new track.
The North-West Connection will link Inland Rail to the interstate east-west line from Sydney to Perth providing a vital connection for the freight industry.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack and Minister for Regional Services, Decentralisation and Local Government Mark Coulton were onsite in Parkes, New South Wales, today to inspect the Inland Rail North-West Connection that will streamline freight movements across Australia.
"The North-West Connection is so important for our freight industry and we will see markedly improved travel times and enhanced capacity for multiple train movements up, down and along the intersecting network, which means, when Inland Rail is fully operational, more productive supply chains carrying our food, furnishings and resources across Australia," Mr McCormack said.
"Inland Rail is already expanding the national freight network and the opening of this section will also create a much-needed link that improves access between the Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail Interstate railway line.
"Inland Rail is one of the centrepieces of the Liberal and Nationals Government's $100 billion infrastructure pipeline. This once-in-a-generation project will transform the way freight is moved around this great country.
"While Inland Rail is a multi-year project, the build schedule allows for individual components to be released into the national network, providing incremental benefit as sections are completed which means regional producers will have earlier access to the national capability of Inland Rail.
"The Government is committed to infrastructure and delivering results."
The North-West Connection joins the existing Broken Hill Line to the existing rail track south of Henry Parkes Way with 5.3km of greenfield rail track, significantly increasing the efficiency of trains heading across Australia.
Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said Inland Rail would help build a more resilient economy by supporting regional businesses to pursue more opportunities to grow.
"Our commitment of up to $9.3 billion to Inland Rail is not just about changing the way freight moves along the eastern seaboard, it is about ensuring that we have efficient connections from regional Australia to domestic and international markets," Mr Cormann said.
"Inland Rail will help cater for the growing demand for domestic inter-capital freight and it will provide regional businesses and farmers with new opportunities to grow their exports by helping them get their produce to market when and where it is required.
"The benefits of Inland Rail are clear. The project will support 16,000 jobs during construction and will provide a $16 billion boost to our national economy over the long-term, helping to build resilience in our economy going forward."
Minister for Regional Services, Decentralisation and Local Government Mark Coulton said large-scale projects such as Inland Rail were increadibly important to regional Australia.
"One of the reasons I stepped off a tractor 12 years ago and went to Canberra was because of my belief in Inland Rail, and today's milestone has turned that belief into a reality," Mr Coulton said.
"Inland Rail is making a real contribution to communities like Parkes, by creating jobs for locals, injecting investment into the local economy and taking trucks off local roads.
"More than 70 central west businesses are supplying products or services and more than 280 local people are working on the project across a range of jobs, including engineers, tradespeople, labouring and administration staff.
"In total, around 700 people have worked on the Parkes to Narromine section alone, and these figures will keep growing as this transformational project moves into each stage of construction."
For more information on Inland Rail visit www.InlandRail.gov.au
We started out to build a calendar of events for Parkes and the surrounding areas, and then came across the beautiful calendar put out by Parkes Tourism, itself.
Look no further ... and here it is ..(hope they don't mind up publishing it!
UNEARTH CENTRAL NSW
Discover the Central NSW region packed with iconic tourist attractions, gastronomic delights, magnificent landscapes and a rich cultural heritage, all within an hour's drive from the Parkes region.
Explore the Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo, sample exquisite food and wine in the Orange and Cabonne region, enjoy Cowra's Japanese Gardens and soar high in a hot air balloon in Canowindra. There is much to explore, but be sure to plan time totake in the many hidden secrets along your way.
Tourist Drives & Trails
Must See + 100 miles
For further information, visit www.visitcentralnswcom.au
If you are looking to capture a classic photo of a quintessential Aussie town, look no further than Trundle
Picture yourself here standing on one of the country's widest main streets, next to the Trundle Hotel with the largest wooden verandah in NSW!
No problems with angle parking in Trundle - Forbes Street is one of the nation's widest main streets, measuring 60m across!
Situated 55km north west of Parkes, Trundle is a rural community, with production consisting mainly of wheat, sheep and cattle.
Enjoy a welcoming cold drink and a hearty meal at the historic Trundle Hotel or the Services Club, both with great accommodation options..
An historic landmark in Trundle, the National Estate listed pub, boasts having the longest verandah in NSW (87.6 metres) on the widest main street in the country, (60m). There has been a hotel continuously on the site since 1888
WHAT'S ON OVER THE NEXT FEW MONTHS IN PARKES & NEARBY?
Coming Up Between Now and next Easter - not everything included, but these are the main events
1st Saturday - Trundle Bush Tucker Day
Taking place in Trundle the first Saturday in September, the event dishes up a day of fun for participants and spectators, featuring bush cooking competitions, free bush tucker tasting and a wholesale program of bush entertainment.
3rd Sunday - Parkes Open Golf Tournament
Long Weekend - 2PK Parkes Country Music Festival
Long Weekend - Parkes Antique Motor Club Motorcycle Rally
3rd Weekend - Parkes Car Enthusiasts Weekend & Swap Meet
variable - Parkes open gardens
1st Friday - Parkes Christmas Carnival and Markets
1st Friday Peak Hill Meet You Up the Street
variable - Carols by Candlelight
2nd Week - Parkes Elvis Festival
Dust off your blue suede shoes and swivel your hips to Parkes during the second week of January each year for the Parkes Elvis festival celebrating the king of rock and roll. With more than 120 events over 5 days this is a must for your Bucket List
4th Sunday - Parkes Harness Racing
variable - Parkes Gold Cup
Tullamore Irish Music Festival
try your luck at the annual Tullamore Irish Music Festival and be treated to a feast of Irish music, dancing and novelty events every Easter Weekend