Barwon MP Roy Butler support Inland Rail inquiry

HEARING CONCERNS: Barwon MP Roy Butler has met with more than 60 affected landholders at a meeting in Gilgandra last month. Photo: CONTRIBUTED
HEARING CONCERNS: Barwon MP Roy Butler has met with more than 60 affected landholders at a meeting in Gilgandra last month. Photo: CONTRIBUTED

An inquiry into the Inland Rail has been supported by Barwon MP Roy Butler.

The Shooters, Fishers and Farmers MP was in Gilgandra last month to meet with more than 60 landholders affected by the Narromine to Narrabri section of Inland Rail.

While Mr Butler said he was "totally supportive" of nation-building projects such as the Inland Rail and the benefits it brings to regional NSW, he believes with significant amounts of public money involved in the processes it needs to be right.

"What we have at the moment is people who are extremely anxious because of a lack of consultation, a lack of transparency, just a lack of information even in regards to compensation, what route the Inland Rail would take. The corridor at some stages was kilometres wide, which meant that it impacted potentially a lot of properties," he said.

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Mr Butler said another major concern was the floodplain hydrology in the Narromine to Narrabri section, which he believed needed to be thoroughly researched and understood to prevent perverse flooding outcomes.

"I think the main concern people have is the uncertainty and the fact that they've not been given a good process in terms of that consultation and the information," he said.

While the ARTChas confirmed its focus area - which has been reduced to about 150-400 metres wide - and are currently meeting with affected landowners, Mr Butler said the SFF would be working through the NSW legislative council to bring about a public inquiry into Inland Rail.

"[People] are fearful for what it means for them and what it means for their future and their property and what is for a lot of them their largest asset," he said.

"I fully acknowledge Inland Rail and a lot of the project is being driven federally, however, there are state actors as well ... and we've got to make sure we're engaging at a state level with people who live along the affected route.

"As I keep saying in a representative system of government, that's our job. Our job is to bring the concerns of people to parliament and prosecute their arguments and concerns and make sure they're getting answers for them."

Mr Butler is encouraging any federal ministers or representatives involved to engage with affected land holders as much as possible to address their concerns.