The Nationals in Government at a State and Federal level have secured a green light for a future icon.

The Australian and New South Wales Governments have approved construction of the Parkes to Narromine section of the landmark Inland Rail project.

Deputy Prime Minister and Nationals Leader Michael McCormack said the Inland Rail will bring jobs and opportunities, improve connectivity and increase freight productivity for businesses and consumers in regional Australia.

“Today is another vital step in making our Inland Rail vision a reality and I am excited for the first section of Inland Rail construction to commence, with $9.3 billion in Federal Government investment,” Mr McCormack said. “Communities across regional New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland will see the benefit of better access to markets at home and overseas, as well as ensuring Australia meets the challenge of our freight task which is set to double.”

The realisation of the massive nation-building project was thanks to the hard work and dedication of The Nationals, who saw great opportunities for rural and regional communities.

Federal Nationals Member for Parkes Mark Coulton said he was pleased to see regional Australians were ready for Inland Rail.

“Inland Rail was what made me get off the tractor and put my hand up for Parliament – this is going to be a transformational investment in communities throughout Western NSW,” Mr Coulton said. “Whether it’s seeing first-hand the opportunities for greater market access as Australia’s Assistant Trade Minister or understanding the passion local farmers and small businesses have for new jobs and opportunities in Western NSW, this is an exciting project.”

NSW Nationals Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight Melinda Pavey welcomed the next step toward making the Parkes to Narromine section a reality.

“The capacity to move freight efficiently and reliably is the single most important factor in ensuring the continued health of our domestic economy, and in growing and maintaining economic competitiveness,” Mrs Pavey said.

More information about the Inland Rail project is available here.