THE Commonwealth government has welcomed additional public health and safety measures implemented by the Australian Rail Track Corporation during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure Michael McCormack said Inland Rail’s construction would continue with other major construction projects, critical to securing the nation’s freight future.

“More than 1,700 people have worked on Inland Rail since construction began, including 667 locals on the Parkes to Narromine project,” he said.

“The economic injection from this project has been immense with $89 million spent with local businesses and 97 local businesses engaged as suppliers.”

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Mr McCormack said more than ever, essential construction services were required for economic stimulus, not just to keep people in work, but to ensure they were in the best place to build momentum after the global health crisis.

“We all rely on the freight network to deliver the essential supplies such as food, medicine, medical equipment, which are critical now more than ever,” he said.

“I thank the freight and construction workers who are essential to maintaining our supply chains and laying the ground work for Australia’s freight future.”

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said our infrastructure investment program is a key plank of our plan to drive stronger economic growth.

“The government is continuing to implement its plan to build a stronger economy and create more jobs through the delivery of infrastructure projects,” Minister Cormann said. “Inland Rail, for example, will deliver a $16bn boost to gross domestic product during construction and the first 50 years of operation,” he said.

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