Projects & Works

Project opportunities for local business

Published: 07 Feb 2020 2:15pm

Local businesses have been given advice about how they could be involved in two multi-billion projects set to employee thousands of people across the Riverina.

More than 40 organisations were represented at a workshop to learn about commercial opportunities during construction of Snowy Hydro 2.0 and the Inland Rail network.

Wagga City Council Director Regional Activation Michael Keys said the economic benefits of two significant projects would impact the region over the next decade.

“The scope of Snowy Hydro 2.0 and Inland Rail in terms of employment and economic opportunities for regional businesses cannot be understated,” Mr Keys said.

“It means thousands of direct and indirect jobs and millions of dollars in investment going directly into local economies.”

Representatives from both projects, and other agencies, addressed business operators to outline requirements and expectations of commercial operators.

Ben Hughes, Advisor for Snowy 2.0, said approximately 2000 workers will be onsite at the peak of construction for what he described as “one of the most complex engineering projects in the world”.

The $5.1B project will require a seven-year build. Mr Hughes said tunnelling experts will be one of the hardest positions to fill, as major projects in Sydney and Melbourne are also current utilising those workforce skills.

Inland Rail’s Jason Manttan expects the $9B project to employ a total of 16,000 people along the entire length of the rail line until completion in 2025.

He estimated $500M would be invested in the Riverina Murray region, with a potential for 60-70 per cent of that money to stay in the local economy.

Other speakers included Klaus Baumgartner, ICN Gateway, John Elgin, Business Enterprise Centre, and Nicola James from AusIndustry.


Snowy Hydro operates the Snowy Mountains Scheme, along with other power assets across NSW, Victoria and South Australia.

Snowy 2.0 will significantly expand the Scheme to meet future energy needs in a changing and increasingly lower emissions economy.

Snowy 2.0 will add 2,000 megawatts of energy generation and provide 175 hours of storage for the National Electricity Market (NEM), enough to ensure the stability and reliability of the system during prolonged weather events, such as wind or solar ‘droughts’.


Inland Rail is a once-in-a-generation project that will enhance supply chains and complete the backbone of the national freight network by providing for a transit time of 24 hours or less for freight trains between Melbourne and Brisbane via regional Victoria, NSW and Queensland.

Inland Rail will transform the way we move freight around the country, connect regional Australia to markets more efficiently, drive substantial cost savings for producers and consumers, and deliver significant economic benefits.

Comprising 13 individual projects and spanning more than 1,700 km, Inland Rail is the largest freight rail infrastructure project in Australia and one of the most significant infrastructure projects in the world.