Inland Rail, ARTC looking for partnership for key section

A REGISTRATION of interest process for a public private partnership to build a key section of the Inland Rail is expected to deliver significant innovation in Queensland.

Inland Rail chief executive officer Richard Wankmuller said Australian Rail Track Corporation was continuing to gauge market appetite for the once-in-a-generation opportunity to deliver the Inland Rail PPP section from Gowrie near Toowoomba to Kagaru near Brisbane.

"Private sector involvement in the design, build, finance and maintenance of the PPP section of the Inland Rail program is critical," Mr Wankmuller said.

"There is leadership in the private sector that will deliver innovation and results.

"There is much we can learn from industry and the PPP will allow us to harness their energy, drive and excellence.

"Queensland will be the biggest beneficiary of Inland Rail with the benefit to the Gross State Product modelled at $7.3billion during construction and the first 50 years of operation," he said.

"There will be in the order of 7000 jobs in Queensland during the peak construction period and job creation has already begun to flow to the state with around 190 staff working for Inland Rail in Brisbane including 40 on the PPP component," he said.

"The PPP enables ARTC to access major Australian and multi-national builders and engineers to harness innovative design solutions and more efficient construction methodologies. This is a program of national significance and ARTC is seeking a partner to deliver the most technically-challenging section comprising approximately 130km of dual gauge rail, significant earthworks and complicated tunnels and bridges through the Toowoomba, Little Liverpool and Teviot ranges."

Mr Wankmuller said the Registration of Interest process was consistent with recent market practices for large infrastructure projects including the Melbourne Metro and Cross River Rail PPP projects.

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