Inland Rail's latest performance statistics have revealed that nearly $400 million has now been spent with local companies on its alignment since beginning construction in 2018.
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About $85 million has been spent over the last year, and now work has begun in and around Forbes.
Inland Rail has engaged with nearly 430 local businesses on the Parkes to Narromine (P2N), Beveridge to Albury (B2A), Narrabri to North Star (N2NS) and Stockinbingal to Parkes (S2P) sections, spending some $390 million on their services.
Over that time Inland Rail has engaged with 25 First Nations businesses, spending nearly $40 million with these companies.
Some $244 million was spent with local companies on the N2NS section, $110 million on the P2N section and nearly $30 million spent in the B2A section so far.
These local companies have provided a range of services including office fit-out, accommodation and catering, workforce training, equipment supply, earthworks, signage, waste services, hardware supplies, plant and equipment hire, electrical and plumbing services and fencing.
The once-in-a-generation project has circled back to Parkes with the section south of the town - Stockinbingal to Parkes - beginning construction in September this year.
Parkes (P2N) was the first of 13 sections to begin construction in December 2018 and was completed at Peak Hill in September 2020.
On top of the dollars spent, Inland Rail has also benefited communities by employing more than 2000 residents, 20 per cent of these coming from First Nations communities.
Across the entire project, nearly 4600 people have worked on the Inland Rail to date, around 700 of whom were from First Nations communities.
Inland Rail says its expenditure with local businesses will expand over the next three years with construction between Parkes and Beveridge in Victoria prioritised for completion by 2027. Contractors Martinus Rail and McConnell Dowell are already well underway building the S2P and B2A sections, currently valued at more than $600 million.
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