A NEW procurement process for Inland Rail will see more businesses benefit during construction, Deputy Prime Minister and infrastructure minister Michael McCormack says.

The Australian Rail Track Corporation has launched a new procurement and packaging plan that aims to hasten benefits to business and regional communities.

Mr McCormack welcomed the procurement initiatives.

“Inland Rail’s construction is providing a boost for local businesses and communities at a time it’s most needed,” he said.

“By dividing this nation-building project into smaller parts, more local businesses can bid for this valuable work, contributing to Australia’s future.”

He noted almost $110m was spent locally with 99 businesses engaged as supply and service providers during construction of the first section of Inland Rail between Parkes and Narromine.

“Indigenous communities also played a role in the construction of Parkes to Narromine, with nine Indigenous-owned businesses receiving $14.1 million for their work on the project and more than 300 Indigenous people employed,” he said.

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said the new, streamlined procurement process for Inland Rail would significantly boost the opportunities for businesses to participate in the delivery of this crucial piece of freight infrastructure.

“Inland Rail connecting Melbourne to Brisbane will deliver significant freight and supply chain efficiencies for our national trading economy,” Minister Cormann said.

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