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14 April, 2022

Inland Rail bore sites announced

Four sites have been announced where bores will be drilled in the Gilgandra region.

By Emily Middleton

The bores will be set up to supply water for the construction of Inland Rail, however will remain there after the fact and provide improved water access.

Located at Box Ridge Road, Curban Hall, Wyuna Road, and Old Mill Road, drilling and testing work begins this week. Following a partnership with the Gilgandra Shire Council (GSC), and Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC), sites were investigated and decided upon for the new water bores.

These bores will be capable of supplying water required for the construction of the Narromine-to-Narrabri section of Inland Rail.

Local Stuart Mudford will have one of the bores next to his properties fence, on crown land, but he isn’t worried.

“I’m not that concerned about it, I think the community might learn something, about what water is available further down.”

Mr Mudford said the bore won’t affect his property at this stage.

“They’ll be going down below the aquifer we currently use, so it’ll be interesting to see what happens.”

Inland Rail delivery director (southern) Paul Giess, said the new bores will benefit the local community long after construction of the Narromine-to-Narrabri section of Inland Rail is finished.

“We are delighted to be working with GSC on delivering these bores, and once we see completion of the Narrom-ine-to-Narrabri section of Inland Rail, we will turn the bores over to the council so the community can continue to benefit from them long-term,” said Mr Giess.

“Sourcing water through methods that didn’t compete with current needs was something we heard time and time again during consultation in Gilgandra – the four new bores we are drilling will reduce the volume of water drawn from existing supplies and improve water access for the community once the construction of Inland Rail is completed.

“Water is critical to farmers and communities along the alignment, we are committed to minimising the impact of construction and are pleased to have found a solution that will leave a lasting legacy and provide a long-term benefit to the Gilgandra region.”

Gilgandra Shire Council mayor Doug Batten said council has championed these investigations from the beginning. He said the council had worked closely with ARTC to ensure that a suitable outcome for farmers, landowners and community members is reached when it comes to accessing water.

“It was important that these water sources do not compete with existing stock or domestic bores, and we are thrilled that this is a long-term win for the region.

“Further community engagement by council will take place as part of the licensing phase which will happen once the test bore results are collated and reviewed.”

Drilling and testing work of the new bores expected to be completed by mid-2022.

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