Help to ‘get the in­land rail right’

The Northern Star - Northern New South Wales Rural Weekly - - NEWS -

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.”

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