With the Inland Rail progressing in NSW, the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) has launched the next phase of one-on-one consultation with landowners in the Narromine to Narrabri section of the project this week.
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ARTC Inland Rail Division CEO Peter Winder said ARTC would be on the ground over the next three months to meet with around 300 individual landowners within the study area.
“There is a lot of hard work happening in the Central West and North West NSW,” Mr Winder said.
“700 people attended our information meetings in December, we met with 450 landowners in one-on-one meetings before that and this week we are launching the next phase of our consultation, meeting with landowners one-on-one again.
“We are focused on building the best possible rail line and the community’s input is critical in shaping the design of Inland Rail.”
Mr Winder said the current study area of about 2 kilometres in width would be refined to a final rail corridor between 45 and 60 metres wide over the next 18 months to two years.
“We are listening and we are conscious of the need to understand more about individual requirements, and community issues and opportunities. This consultation process is part of enhancing our understanding,” he said.
The ARTC would also be talking to people about the detailed environmental and engineering investigations that need to be conducted, property access and the next steps in the design, he said.
“It takes time to get this right and we are entering a detailed phase. We are taking care to respectfully engage with each individual landowner and to discuss what is important to them,” Mr Winder said.
“This week we are starting around Narromine and then we will be moving north through the study area over the coming months.
“This intensive process is just the start, and there will continue to be many opportunities for the community, landowners, businesses and others to give us their feedback and help inform the project.
“Landowners are being contacted directly to arrange a time as we progress this consultation over the next few months, but we also encourage people to call us any time to talk to us about Inland Rail on 1800 732 761 or through the Inland Rail website.”
Mr Winder said the Central West region stood to benefit from a $480 million boost to its economy as a result of Inland Rail.
The Narromine to Narrabri project is a 307 kilometre greenfield section of the 1700 kilometre Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail freight link.
Visit inlandrail.artc.com.au/N2N for more information on the Narromine to Narrabri project.