Two announcements have given hope that the Inland Rail project and surrounding business investment is on track in inland NSW.
The NSW Government announced work has started on the Special Activation Precinct tied to the Parkes Inland Rail hub - to be Australia's first 'circular' eco-industrial business park.
While federal Parkes MP Mark Coultan issued an update on the Narrabri to North Star section of the new Inland Rail track.
Mr Coultan said more than 570 people had worked on that section of the project since last year, 266 buinesses had supplied to it, and 80 kilometres of track had been stripped,1118 culvert pre-cast segments installed, 17,587 sleepers and 9.8km of new rail installed.
Meantime, the Parkes Special Activation Precinct has taken another major step towards realisation with construction now underway.
Early works have started on the upgrade of Brolgan Road to incorporate a roundabout for the future Coopers Road realignment, two bridges over the existing railway lines, and a new 30MVa sub-station, as well as all associated utilities.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW John Barilaro said locals will start to see the precinct take shape with early works beginning.
"The precinct will focus on sustainability and aims to become Australia's first UNIDO EcoIndustrial Park where businesses will work together to create a true circular economy, where one corporation's waste becomes another's material for production," he said. Early works are expected to be completed in the first half of 2023.
"The early works will open around 1500 hectares for development by local and international investors, who will work with us to create more economic opportunities for Parkes and the wider Central West region," Mr Barilaro said.
This stage of the works also includes biodiversity offsets, as well as significant landscaping and re-planting in later stages.
Construction company Fulton Hogan will deliver the construction work, which is expected to require up to 125 construction jobs throughout the build.
Duty MLC Sam Farraway said the "The Parkes Special Activation Precinct is going to become a thriving inland port that will connect new and existing businesses with national and international customers and create thousands of new jobs for locals."
"We are excited about the future of the Parkes precinct and look forward to our continued work with other Government departments, Parkes Shire Council, and the local community to bring this vision to life."
Construction company, Fulton Hogan, will deliver the construction work. Tarek Mechreky, Fulton Hogan Project Director said : "We are excited to be part of the Parkes Special Activation Precinct and look forward to delivering this game-changing project for Parkes and the region on behalf of the NSW Government."
"The majority of our team has now mobilised to Parkes and are enjoying everything the NSW Central West has to offer."