Communities in central Victoria are already seeing the benefits of the Murray Basin Rail Project, with more than 40 businesses engaged as regional suppliers now on board.
Maryborough-based organisation Asteria Business Services is just one of the suppliers that has directly benefited from being involved in the project.
Since July, Asteria has provided printing and mail distribution, as well as cleaning services for staff accommodation, offices and facilities.
The community organisation provides support and employment to Victorians living with a disability, and has hired staff and created a property maintenance crew to keep up with the demands for the Murray Basin Rail Project.
Western Quarries in Ararat has a $5.5 million agreement with the McConnell Dowell Martinus Rail Joint Venture – who is delivering the project – to provide ballast required for the project.
Other local suppliers for the project include Troy Walker Electrical and Wattle Office Supplies in Maryborough, and Wazza & Co in Beaufort and Hull Plumbing in Ararat.
Hospitality, catering, accommodation and rental properties across central Victoria and the north-west of the state have also been in demand since construction started in July.
Around 400 people are now working to deliver stage two of the Murray Basin Rail Project, with 160 staff based at the project’s main office in Maryborough and nearby work sites in Ararat, Dunolly, Donald and St Arnaud.
More than 220 regional Victorians are employed on the project, including 150 people in the state’s central and north-west region, working in varied roles including administrators, supervisors, labourers and machine operators.
Stage two includes work to re-open the 87 kilometre freight line between Maryborough and Ararat, as well as the upgrade of the Maryborough to Yelta freight line, with more than 340,000 hours already worked since the upgrade began in July.
The jointly funded Victorian and Commonwealth Government project involves the upgrade and conversion of more than 1000 kilometres of track to standard gauge, improving access for farmers to get their product to the ports via rail.
More information can be found at vline.com.au/murraybasinrail.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan
“The Murray Basin Rail Project will support livelihoods once it is completed and we are already seeing local communities get an economic boost from construction.”
“We’re engaging local suppliers and employing people from the Murray Basin region wherever possible, to involve the community in a project that will support Victorians for years to come.”