Help to ‘get the inland rail right’
MORE than 200 people impacted by the proposed inland rail gathered in Gilgandra last week to share their concerns with Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack at a community town hall meeting.
NSW Farmers inland rail taskforce chair Adrian Lyons summed up the mood of the community meeting by offering to work with the government and the Australian Rail Track Corporation to help progress the project to reality, subject to more information and details of the correct route.
“At the end of the meeting, I offered, on behalf of NSW Farmers, to work with Mr McCormack, the ARTC and the wider government to build confidence around this project and ensure it delivers for agriculture and regional New South Wales,” Mr Lyons said.
“There was nothing said at the meeting that NSW Farmers has not been outlining for more than 12 months – it remains the case that the community has deep reservations about inland rail.
“The community asked the Deputy Prime Minister whether the government would consider modest adjustments to study areas if the community can demonstrate that a superior outcome can be delivered for landowners and the rail’s service offering.
“NSW Farmers would like to work with the government to manage these issues and act as an honest broker between the landowners and the ARTC.
“Further, the community aired its belief that a short, independent inquiry into the selection of the preferred corridor would give them maximum confidence that all the i’s have been dotted and the t’s crossed with respect to the scoping of the project.
“It is fair to say that the community, from as far south as Illabo and Junee through Narromine, Narrabri, North Star and into southern Queensland, remains deeply unimpressed by the way this project has been managed.”