Site investigations, environmental assessments and field studies continue to occur during the reference design stage as we consult with landowners, councils and other key stakeholders.
In recent months we have refined our proposed rail corridor design, incorporating a wide variety of stakeholder feedback. This latest round of design refinement identified design and construction challenges needing further investigation, including:
- the grade of the alignment (steepness of the inclines and declines), and scope of required earthworks
- road/rail interfaces at bridges and level crossings
- connections to existing rail lines.
These reviews will inform our updated reference design and may result in changes to the proposed alignment.
Environment planning and approvals
The Illabo to Stockinbingal project is progressing through the following environmental approvals:
- In June 2018 we lodged a State Significant Infrastructure (SSI) application and Scoping Report with the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE).
- In August 2018 the project was determined to be a ‘controlled action’ and requires assessment and approval under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act 1999) before it can proceed.
- In September 2018 the project was declared State Significant Infrastructure by the DPIE and issued a Secretary’s Environmental Requirements (SEARs).
We are currently completing investigations for the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), adding data from investigations and field studies which examined local ground conditions, hydrology, flooding issues, and local flora and fauna habitats.
The EIS will outline potential impacts and proposed mitigation measures for the project for review by DPIE. It will also capture information gathered from community consultation and describe how this feedback helped narrow the study area to the preferred rail corridor.
We will continue to refine the design and finalise the EIS next year.
After the reference design is updated, a comprehensive round of engagement will be undertaken and community feedback considered in the preparation of the project’s EIS submission.
Once complete, the EIS will be on public exhibition by the DPIE for a minimum of 28 days. During that time, community members and other stakeholders are invited to provide their feedback and make formal submissions for consideration by DPIE.
A written report responding to any issues that were raised during the public exhibition will be made publicly available for stakeholders and the community to view and submitted to DPIE and the Minister for Planning and Public Spaces for their appraisal.
December 1, 2020
Project update on Illabo to Stockinbingal floodplain modelling
We are committed to minimising the impact of construction and operational activities on the communities in which we operate. Landowner and stakeholder input and consultation on existing flood conditions and potential impacts has been and will continue to be incorporated into the design of Inland Rail.
October 23, 2020
Inland Rail Scholarships supporting aspiring local students
The Inland Rail Scholarships program offers undergraduate degree students living near the Inland Rail alignment financial assistance of $5,000 per year of study. Applications are now open for students studying at Charles Sturt University in 2021.