Consultation continues as Inland Rail narrows proposed corridor in Narromine to Narrabri section
Community members will this month have an opportunity to gain further insight into the Narromine to Narrabri section of the Inland Rail railway alignment the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) will propose as part of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) process.
Narromine to Narrabri Project Director Duncan Mitchell said the Inland Rail project team had been working to refine the alignment from 400 metres wide down to 60 metres or less as the project moves towards lodging a submission with the New South Wales Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE) by the end of the year.
“We are reaching a very crucial stage of the project, where we are working through the final details with a number of landholders surrounding the alignment to be submitted under the EIS process,” Mr Mitchell said.
“We started with a study corridor of up to 5km wide in some areas, and through a lengthy and comprehensive assessment and consultation process we have now refined the alignment to the proposed final rail corridor,” he said.
“We have worked closely with affected landholders and the community since 2017 so we can deliver the best possible rail line we can. We are now preparing to submit an EIS based on the best engineering solutions and feedback gathered from the community.
“We have tried from the outset to minimise impacts on landholders and the environment, and to deliver a value-for-money project with the best engineering and design in mind. The final alignment is based upon extensive field studies, detailed environmental investigations and comprehensive consultation with communities and landholders.
“We engaged experts to undertake these studies and spent time with local residents to develop a deep understanding of the local conditions. We are confident that we have solutions that will work.”
Mr Mitchell said ARTC’s project delivery team had been making individual contact with affected landowners to discuss the final alignment since June and was now taking the proposed rail corridor out to the public through a series of drop-in information sessions throughout October.
“Communication and consultation are the cornerstones of Inland Rail. For some landowners, we understand this is a difficult process and we are focused on working closely with them to give them as much certainty as we can, as soon as we can, around the process, the alignment and what happens next,” he said.
“Once we submit our EIS, DPIE will evaluate the submission against the Planning Secretary’s Environmental Assessment Requirements (SEARs) to assess the economic, environmental and social impacts of the project. This process will also seek formal submissions from landowners and the community.
“ARTC will continue to work with the community by providing information on how to make formal submissions as part of the EIS process. The EIS will play a critical role in identifying, assessing, evaluating, and mitigating the environmental, social, economic, and other relevant effects as well as potential opportunities and benefits of Inland Rail.
“We are committed to taking the community with us every step of the way. We are encouraging those affected to continue to work with us to get the best outcomes possible.”
Drop-in sessions will be held on:
- 19 October, 10am-3pm at Soul Food Design and Gallery, 1-7 Dandaloo Street, Narromine;
- 20 October, 10am-3pm at Gilgandra Shire Hall, Warren Road, Gilgandra;
- 21 October, 10am-3pm at Curban Community Hall, National Park Road, Curban;
- 22 October, 10am-1pm at Coonamble Bowling Club, Aberford Street, Coonamble;
- 22 October, 4pm-7pm at Baradine Memorial Hall, Narren Street, Baradine; and
- 23 October, 10am-2pm and 4pm-7pm at The Crossing Theatre, 117 Tibbereena Street, Narrabri.
A further online session will be held on 28 October, anytime between 3pm-7pm, register at email@example.com and a link will be sent to your email address.
Images and video can be found at this link.
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