Whyalla will produce steel for Inland Rail
Whyalla workers will produce 147,000 tonnes of steel for key rail projects across Australia, including the Inland Rail project.
Australian Rail Track Corporation has signed a $292 million contract with Liberty Primary Steel to supply the heavy-duty rail, supporting 1,500 jobs in the South Australian city.
The contract will also support upgrades between Narrabri and Turrawan, a vital connection between Inland Rail and the Hunter Valley coal network, and the Southern Highlands line in New South Wales.
When completed in 2027, the Inland Rail will provide a freight connection linking Melbourne and Brisbane on a route through regional Victoria, NSW and Queensland.
Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce said the contract underlined how Inland Rail was already benefiting Australia.
“Inland Rail will further strengthen our freight network, keeping supply chains open, giving exporters better access to international markets and creating jobs and economic opportunities for businesses,” he said.
“This contract is a vote of confidence in Australian manufacturing, ensuring that the high quality steel needed to bring Inland Rail to life is made by Australians for the benefit of Australians.”
Federal Finance Minister Simon Birmingham said the multimillion-dollar contract would be a huge boost for Whyalla, creating a pipeline of jobs and economic activity.
“The steel made in South Australia is some of the highest quality in the world, making it very suitable for use in the construction of Inland Rail and our national freight network,” did he declare.
Liberty Primary Steel has previously supplied steel for Inland Rail, including contracts worth $51 million for the Parkes to Narromine and Narrabri to North Star sections.
Whyalla Mayor Clare McLaughlin said the fact that the town’s steelworks was chosen for such a large, long-term contract is a testament to the quality of the product produced by the local workforce.
“This is another sign of the future strengthening of operations,” she said.