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Community & Business

27 October, 2020

Final rail corridor proposed

With the final rail corridor for the Narromine-to-Narrabri line of the Inland Rail Project now announced, the Australian Rail Track Corporation have held community consultation sessions in preparation of the release of the long awaited Environmental Impact Statement.

By Telden Nelson

The Australian Rail Track Corporation were in Gilgandra and Curban last week for community engagement sessions.

The Australian Rail Track Corporation held community information sessions last week for the Inland Rail Project. One was held in Gilgandra and the other in Curban.

The purpose of the sessions was to discuss the proposed final rail corridor on the Narromine-to-Narrabri (N2N) line. It also provided information about the upcoming Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), which is due to be released in December.

ARTC’s stakeholder engagement manager for NSW north Patricio Munoz said that being able to display the final rail corridor was an “important milestone”.

“It’s a complex project, It’s 300 kilometres of new track, obviously a project of that scale has both impacts and opportunities and we’re keen to go out and meet anyone that wants to be informed on the project,” said Mr Munoz.

“We want to encourage people to provide informed feedback on the EIS and in the new year around March, we’ll start conversations around property matters.

“As we’ve heard from NSW Farmers and other key stakeholders, landholders are quite keen to have that information and we’re keen to get out there and show them how our project aligns with NSW government process.”

Before the community consultation it was advised by NSW Farmers, the Country Women’s Association and legal firm Holding Redlich that landholders not engage with the ARTC. This is because these groups believe the ARTC have not been forthcoming enough with answers to important questions and have been unwilling to properly engage with concerned landholders. 

Attendance numbers at the Gilgandra community session were far below that of Narromine’s total of around 30 visitors the day before. Mr Munoz said this is because the ARTC have already engaged with landowners in face-to-face meetings.

“This information sessions follow on from face-to-face meetings with landowners, so a lot of the affected landowners we’ve met face-to-face already and they’re up to date on project developments.

“This is to catch anyone else that is interested in the project. You get interest from a broad spectrum of stakeholders, not necessarily just the affected landowners.”

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