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24 May, 2021

Curban terminal to be investigated

Gilgandra Shire Council (GSC) has received funding to investigate an intermodal terminal or freight precinct in Curban adjoining the inland rail.

By Supplied

Photo via unsplash.

Seven other project proposals from the Parkes electorate will be receiving support under to the second round of the government’s Interface Improvement Program (II Program).

Member for Parkes Mark Coulton congratulated the successful proponents and said the II Program would support local communities and industry to progress their big connectivity ideas.

"We have reached out to the regions to hear their ideas because we want to ensure that the interfaces, the sidings, the loops, the connecting tracks, the silos and handling facilities are improved and better connected," said minister Coulton.

"Connectivity is at the heart of this government's commitment to inland rail because the regions are our lifeblood for resources and agricultural production. The Parkes electorate is in the driver's seat to benefit from projects that are moving forward under the program – ones that improve our supply chains and better connect country rail lines to inland rail."

Deputy prime minister Michael McCormack said the II Program was a great way for local government, industry and regional communities to enhance supply chain productivity in their areas and realise the potential of inland rail.

“Inland rail is sparking activity right along the alignment as people and regions explore new ways to connect to the line, work on construction and supply the project with materials and services,” said deputy prime minister McCormack.

20 project proposals from round one are receiving expert support through the II Program and a further 15 project proposals so far were found eligible in this round. The II Program does not provide or guarantee funding for projects; however, it enables local ideas to be developed for further investment consideration.

GSC general manager David Neeves said the project is focussed on the utilisation of inland rail construction infrastructure for more permanent rail access facilities.

“This conversion is vital to ensuring the long term opportunities are captured for our community, agriculture sector and the wider region,” he said.

“Currently, rail infrastructure in Gilgandra is limited to loading of bulk grain. The barriers we face to expand this is the cost of the infrastructure required, such as rail sidings, hardstand, roads and services such as power and water.

"A construction compound is likely to require all these elements, and we are looking then at how we can utilise these into our future as lasting benefits to the community.

“While the announcement notes a Curban location, this was based on the information available at the time from the Inland Rail Environmental Impact Statement. The study will investigate options and importantly, involve working with stakeholders to identify opportunities and recommendations for the best option for our community.

“The II Program process involves progression through a number gateways, with the goal of this particular project to progress to a full strategic business case, ahead of, hopefully and, ultimately its implementation.

“We acknowledge the government and minister Coulton for their support and recognition of the importance in assisting our community to be inland rail ready and to take advantage of the opportunities presented by the inland rail.”

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