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Importance of Inland Rail for regional communities

Construction of Inland Rail’s very first section, ‘Parkes to Narromine’ in Central West NSW, is officially complete!

Regional Recovery Officer Tammy Greer and Agency staff caught up with Minister for Regional Health, Regional Communications and Local Government, Mark Coulton MP and Andrew Freeth, a mixed cropping farmer from Collie, to talk about the importance of Inland Rail to regional communities.

Inland Rail is a 1,700km freight rail line that will connect Melbourne and Brisbane via regional Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland.

“The real benefit for regional Australia is what can grow off that, so it’s not just that line, all of the centres that are nearby will have the benefit of cheaper rail freight and the opportunity for value add…meaning businesses will find it very attractive to move to the regions” said Minister Coulton.

Growerco is a supply chain cooperative, aimed at improving efficiencies and cutting post farmgate costs. Andrew Freeth, Director of Growerco specialises in grain storage and logistics.

He spoke about the importance of preparing for drought in good years and the potential for farmers to maximise financial returns and accelerate drought recovery through strategic supply chain initiatives, including capitalising on the inland rail network to streamline freight costs and return more profits at the farm gate.

Andrew, a 2015 Nuffield Scholar who studied On-Farm Storage and the Grain Supply Chain in the United States said “Inland Rail is an exciting opportunity! It lets us lower our costs, improve farm gate returns, and gives us a buffer, so when the next drought turns up we’re able to manage that”.  

Find out more about Inland Rail here.