THE sleepy town of Peak Hill in country New South Wales made history this week when the final golden clip was hammered into place to signify completion of the first section of Inland Rail.

Deputy Prime Minister and infrastructure minister Michael McCormack said Peak Hill was an appropriate location as it was here on 15 January 2018 that the first shipment of Australian-made steel was delivered to start the project.

“Inland Rail is an investment in Australia – in our economy, in our regions and in the capacity of our future freight network,” Mr McCormack said.

“This is real progress on a project which has been talked about since federation,” he said.

“The corridor of commerce we are building with Inland Rail stretches 1700km from Melbourne to Brisbane – we are turning steel into stimulus as we lay the tracks that will deliver jobs and opportunity.”

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann described Inland Rail as a once-in-a-generation project.

“Long-haul rail is cheaper, safer and more reliable than road, that’s why the Australian Government is enhancing the national freight rail network through our investment in Inland Rail,” Minister Cormann said. “The shift from road to rail builds resilience in our freight network – not only will Inland Rail deliver a long-term freight solution for Australia to meet the needs of our growing population – it is also a critical investment supporting an efficient Australian economy.”