The mayor of Wangaratta Rural City, Dean Rees, has welcomed the arrival of the Inland Rail project in north-east Victoria and the economic growth it will drive in the area.
Rees says the rail project will fast-track economic growth and help drive the construction of much-needed community infrastructure in north-east Victoria while serving as a great legacy for the region.
With a new bridge set to be opened in Glenrowan, Rees says the Inland Rail is creating jobs and driving economic activity that rural cities often can’t do on their own.
“We’ve been very fortunate to have Inland Rail come through Wangaratta and improve some of the infrastructure that the rural city just can’t afford to do on our own without partnering with a group like Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC),” Rees says.
“This new Glenrowan bridge is going to be magnificent. It’s going to offer a greater connectivity with people with the pedestrian access across the bridge.”
To date, Inland Rail has spent more than $35 million with 176 local Victorian businesses and employed 650 local people on the Victorian section of the project.
Local businesses have provided earthworks, accommodation and catering, environmental consultancy, cultural heritage services, equipment hire, electrical services, workforce training, labour hire, office supplies, PPE supply, precast concrete products, signalling equipment supply and equipment hire.
The nation building Inland Rail project is set to transform how goods and freight are moved around Australia, starting by connecting Beveridge to Parkes by 2027 before connecting from Narromine, NSW to Ebenezer, Queensland.
In Victoria, work will take place at 12 sites, including Wangaratta and Glenrowan, to ensure double-stacked freight trains can pass safely.
“I believe the ARTC will leave a great legacy with the reconstruction of new infrastructure that has been badly needed over the past 20 to 30 years here in the Rural City of Wangaratta and Glenrowan,” Rees says.