FAST-TRACKING OF NARRABRI TO NORTH STAR INLAND RAIL WELCOMED

FAST-TRACKING OF NARRABRI TO NORTH STAR INLAND RAIL WELCOMED

Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall, left, and Member for Parkes Mark Coulton have welcomed the State Government’s fast-tracking of the assessment for the Narrabri to North Star section of Inland Rail.

Tuesday, 21 July 2020

It’s full steam ahead for the Narrabri to North Star section of the Inland Rail project with Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall and Federal Member for Parkes Mark Coulton today welcoming the announcement the State Government has fast-tracked the assessment process for this revolutionary project.

Mr Marshall said a ruling on whether the $700 million section of rail-corridor is approved will be made now within the next month.

“By fast-tracking the assessment process the State Government is ensuring 500 jobs are locked in and directly benefiting communities in the Moree Plains, Gwydir and Narrabri Shire local government areas,” Mr Marshall said.

“Should Phase 1 be given the green light, by the end of this year we will see the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) begin work to upgrade 171-kilometre of track between Narrabri and North Star.

“This piece of infrastructure will transform Moree into the economic powerhouse of northern NSW, working hand in glove with the Special Activation Precinct to grow agribusiness, logistics and food processing industries and create a further 2,000 jobs.

“The Inland Rail is also the key which will unlock the true potential of the ‘Golden Triangle’ wheat growing area, with producers able to unload grain at local terminals reducing freight costs and the time taken to get product to market.

“I want to assure everyone that no corners are being cut as a result of this announcement and the same stringent checks, balances and community consultation remain in place.

“This is such important news for this area which has been so long affected by drought, and I look forward to a final announcement in the coming weeks.”

Mr Coulton said Inland Rail would revolutionise efficiencies when it came to getting primary produce to market, providing new opportunities for future growth.

“This is a great example of how all levels of Government can work together to drive economic resilience and support jobs in our regions,” Mr Coulton said.

“I want our region to be in the best position to not only recover from the disruptions caused by COVID-19, but thrive, after the immediate threat has passed.

“As has been the case since the beginning of this project, the Government will continue to engage with the community, and concerns are being addressed where it is possible and reasonable to do so – the Government will not be taking any shortcuts.

“Inland Rail is a critical project delivering over 16,000 jobs during construction and operation and an economic injection of over $16 billion – our economy needs these jobs and investment now more than ever.”

To be considered for a fast-tracked assessment through the Planning System Acceleration Program, a development application (DA) or rezoning must already be in the State’s planning system, deliver a public benefit and demonstrate an ability to create jobs during construction and once complete.

The Department of Planning, Industry and Environment has selected projects that will be able to commence construction within six months (for a State Significant Development application or State Significant Infrastructure application) or where a DA could be lodged within six months (for a rezoning).

The Planning System Acceleration Program complements the NSW Government’s recent announcement of $83 million for the NSW Planning Reform Action Plan that will slash assessment times for rezonings, regionally significant developments and State Significant Developments.

Decisions will be made on the projects by 14 August 2020. For more information visit http://www.planning.nsw.gov.au/fast-tracked-assessments

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