Benalla Working Group members confirmed

Following a thorough selection process, the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) has appointed 12 new members of the Benalla Working Group to help refine Inland Rail’s proposed solution for the Benalla Station precinct.

Benalla train station

ARTC worked with Benalla Rural City Council to select the Working Group’s membership, which comprises two local councillors, two Better Benalla Rail representatives and eight independent community members.

ARTC Victoria Projects General Manager Ed Walker welcomed the Working Group members, encouraging them to focus on developing a formal set of community requirements which will inform the final Inland Rail design.

“The Benalla Working Group has been established to represent the Benalla community, with members chosen based on their understanding of the local area, interest in representing local views and willingness to be a link between the Inland Rail project and Benalla locals. We have sought a membership that brings varied skills and experience to the group,” Mr Walker said.

“We recognise the need to work closely with the community to find a design solution that meets expectations and addresses local concerns. The Working Group will review each of station precinct design option in a structured process and capture those community requirements which can inform the ongoing design.”

Working Group member Bill Parris aims to achieve a satisfactory result that meets the needs and requirements of Benalla locals and ARTC.

“I am a regular train user and assist in different groups volunteering in the community. I love the beautiful community we live in,” Mr Parris said.

Fellow member Janette Anderson has lived in Benalla her whole life.

“I’m hoping to achieve a better landscaped station with better access to trains and car parking, as well as more suitable access for buses,” she said.

Two Benalla Rural City Council councillors are on the Working Group, being Cr Don Firth and Cr Scott Upston.

“The Councillors consider the role of the Benalla Working Group is important in ensuring the outcome of the project is the best one possible for the community and that the voice of the community is heard by the ARTC throughout the project,” a council spokesperson said.

Construction of the Benalla Station precinct is due to commence in late 2023 allowing further consultation to meet the long-term needs of the community.

ARTC will share details of the first meeting to members in coming weeks and is currently considering nominations for an independent Chair.

Find out more on the Benalla Working Group.