Parkes businesses have already started to benefit from the Inland Rail’s momentum.
One Parkes business, Regional Business Supplies, has become the main furniture supplier for INLink, the contractor appointed to construct the Parkes to Narromine section.
Regional Business Supplies owner and manager Gregor Sammut-Paul said his business has supplied 63 desks to the INLink office on the Forbes Road.
“And that’s still growing...those desks are full [of people] every time we go there,” he said.
“That’s 63 people who are eating, sleeping and working in the town.”
The Inland Rail is just one of the reasons why Australia’s largest rail freight operator Pacific National has chosen Parkes as the location for its logistics terminal.
Regional Business Supplies is also the supplier for Coleman Rail, a construction contractor involved in the Pacific National terminal.
“And there is one other company who have an account with us who hope to obtain work with the Inland Rail,” Gregor said.
“It turned a very flat winter with the drought into an excellent October and November as these offices were built,” he said.
With the Parkes to Narromine (P2N) section of the Inland Rail Project due to commence in the near future, the joint venture INLink, engaged by Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) are starting to mobilise in Parkes.
A broad range of opportunities are already available in the Central West with major construction work in the Parkes to Narromine (P2N) section, and there has already been local procurement opportunities in Parkes for a range of service providers such as signage services, personal protective equipment and furniture and office appliances.
Parkes Shire Council's General Manager Kent Boyd said, "It has been a long-term vision of the Parkes community to see Parkes as a national logistics hub and the Inland Rail project is the major link in the chain that will start to see this vision realised."
"Council and the community are equipped ready to leverage the investment opportunities and flow effects for local businesses that the construction of the first phase will bring,” Mr Boyd said.
ARTC Project Director Colin Forde said: "INLink have had very positive responses from the community so far with more than 380 EOI registrations from local companies, partnerships and sole traders and INLink have been working with them throughout the entire process to understand the kind of variable skills and opportunities to price work that is available."
"An extensive list of services will be required which will include but is not limited to concrete supply services, transportation, fencing, earthmoving, drainage, electrical works, concrete works, security and water bore drilling. There will also be a positive flow-on effect for enterprises from motels, retailers, cafes and restaurants through to a range of service providers who will reap the benefits of the project ".
"We are looking forward to securing the right people and businesses who have the capacity, skills and experience to deliver the work on-time, on-budget and with minimal disruption to the community," Mr Forde said.
The $10 billion Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail project has already had significant impacts on the region and has led directly to investment in Parkes by companies such as Pacific National who have commenced work on their $35M terminal development in the Parkes National Logistics Hub.
"In addition to this, we are very optimistic about the Special Activation Precinct that is being investigated for Parkes by the NSW Government, that will activate land in and around the hub, which is centred on the intersection of the Sydney-Perth transcontinental railway and the new north-south Inland Rail. The precinct will provide pre-assessed land and streamlined approval to simplify business entry. This will ensure businesses have room to set up and grow within the precinct,” Mr Boyd said.
The Parkes Special Activation Precinct if activated, will create jobs, support the freight and logistics industry, enable agricultural value-adding and bring regional suppliers closer to their markets, allowing local products to be more easily delivered across Australia and around the world.