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New Company and Board to Govern Inland Rail Project

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Laying concrete sleepers near Tomingley. Image: Inland Rail

Laying concrete sleepers near Tomingley. Image: Inland Rail

THE AUSTRALIAN Rail Track Corporation is establishing a new subsidiary company with its own board to govern the delivery of the Inland Rail.

The creation of the new company, Inland Rail Pty Ltd, follows Kerry Schott’s independent review of the Inland Rail project and, more recently, a statement of expectations released by the federal government.

The government issued its new statement of expectations on 23 June 2023, reaffirming its objectives and expectations for the ARTC and the future delivery of the Inland Rail.

The statement notes the government’s support for the establishment of a dedicated ARTC subsidiary with a dedicated board, to provide for separation between the ARTC’s business-as-usual operations and the delivery of the Inland Rail project.

The federal government announced the new board on Friday 7 July. Robert Rust was appointed chair, and Louise Thurgood as deputy chair.

Mr Rust is director of Infrastructure SA and Ms Thurgood is a director at Silk Contract Logistics.

Dr Schott, who is currently acting chair of the ARTC, will sit on the board as a non-executive director. Peter Duncan will replace Dr Schott board when he resumes his role as ARTC chair.

Erin Flaherty (chair of National Intermodal Corporation), James Cain and Vivienne King have also been appointed to the board.

The government said the six board members were chosen for their skills, qualifications, knowledge and experience, including the delivery of nationally significant freight infrastructure projects.

Infrastructure, transport, regional development and local government minister Catherine King said the government is fulfilling its commitment to act on Dr Schott’s recommendations.

“The establishment of Inland Rail Pty Ltd and the updated statement of expectations, are examples of this government getting on with the job to refresh the approach to delivering Inland Rail ensure it is adequately funded and resourced,” Ms King said.

“I am confident in the direction provided by the Statement of Expectations and in the chosen Inland Rail Pty Ltd board members, who will bring valuable industry insights and expertise to ensure the Albanese government delivers on its commitments to Inland Rail.”

Finance minister Katy Gallagher said the dedicated subsidiary company has an experienced and skilled board of directors to ensure Inland Rail is appropriately managed.

“The government’s updated statement of expectations brings ARTC and Inland Rail in line with highest standards of governance, transparency and accountability for corporate and government-owned entities,” she said.

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