THE Australian government has approved the environmental impact statement for the next section of the Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail – from Narrabri to North Star.

Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack welcomed the approval, providing further certainty on Inland Rail’s delivery and the local jobs and investment the freight rail line will bring.

“People have been talking about Inland Rail line for more than a century and this Liberal and Nationals government is making it a reality,” he said.

On the Parkes to Narromine section, 1800 jobs were supported and more than $109m was spent with 99 local businesses according to the government.

“We’re looking forward to seeing northern New South Wales enjoy similar benefits soon with construction on this section starting later this year,” Mr McCormack said.

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Finance minister Mathias Cormann said Inland Rail would deliver many benefits to NSW through increased local business investment, improvements to the freight network and the creation of new jobs.

“Inland Rail will support more than 5000 jobs in NSW during construction and as each section is completed, more fast and reliable rail services will become available to industry and regional producers across Australia,” Mr Cormann said.

The first completed section – Parkes to Narromine – provided a boost to businesses across a range of industries, including concrete supply, transportation, fencing, earthmoving, accommodation, hospitality and security.

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