An innovative rail steel, designed and manufactured in Whyalla, is being used for the federal government's $10 billion Inland Rail project
The Whyalla Steelworks have been contracted to manufacture rail for the Narromine to North Star section of Inland Rail, continuing Liberty OneSteel's involvement in the project after winning a $20 million contract to supply 14,000 tonnes of rail for the Parkes to Narromine section.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the new rail would improve the performance of faster, more efficient double-stacked trains, supporting speeds of up to 115 kilometres per hour along the alignment.
"Consistent with the Government's commitment to growing our regional economies, Inland Rail is a catalyst for local jobs well beyond the Melbourne to Brisbane alignment," Mr McCormack said.
"6000 tonnes of innovative rail was designed and manufactured in Whyalla and delivered to central New South Wales for the next section of the Inland Rail track between Narrabri and North Star.
"We know that our local manufacturers have the skills and creativity to be competitive. That is why Inland Rail has chosen top-quality, Australian-made steel to build this transformational project - because we know towns like Whyalla produce world-class products," Mr McCormack said.
Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said that large-scale infrastructure such as Inland Rail has long been a driver of job creation and regional growth.
"The Government's pro-growth agenda is about creating jobs and stimulating local development. Inland Rail is a critical part of the Government's plan for a stronger economy," Senator Cormann said.
"We know that the nation's success is underpinned by the hard work and aspiration of everyday Australians, but we also know that we need to ensure our industries - from small businesses to factories such as LibertyOne Steel - remain internationally competitive.
"That's why we're building transformational infrastructure projects such as Inland Rail to build economic resilience and strength, building on Australia's reputation as leaders of innovative manufacturing and design," Senator Cormann said.
Federal Member for Grey Rowan Ramsey welcomed the news that Whyalla would continue supply rail for the project.
"Manufacturing is the predominant industry in Whyalla with more than 23,000 people in the town and its surrounds reliant on the iron and steel industry. Contracts such as this, for Inland Rail, make a real difference in the lives of Whyalla locals," he said.
"Even 10 jobs staying in Whyalla because of Inland Rail is a huge win for the town, and with approximately 262,000 tonnes of steel needed to build Inland Rail - the equivalent to five Sydney Harbour Bridges - I have upmost confidence in the steel plant's capacity to continue to deliver the high standard required for Inland Rail."