The Inland Rail project has determined a preferred alignment for the Illabo to Stockinbingal rail freight upgrade and well seek public feedback on the plans later this month.
The Australian Rail Track Corporation, as the federal body that manages interstate rail, will hold community information sessions at Junee, Illabo, Bethungra, Stockinbingal, Temora and Cootamundra between June 17 and 26.
Inland Rail is a $14.5 billion project to improve speeds and tonnage capacity along 1700 kilometres of railway between Brisbane and Melbourne via regional NSW.
The Junee session, on June 17 from 11am to 1pm outside the news agency at 7 Humphrys Street, will include proposed designs for the, Kemp Street bridge, Junee Station footbridge and Olympic Highway underbridge.
The ARTC has predicted that communities along the Inland Rail route will benefit from new jobs in a range of industries, increased spending at businesses and more efficient freight for regional industries.
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Inland Rail Albury to Parkes project director Melvyn Maylin said the ARTC will present the preferred alignment and be available to answer questions from the community at the information sessions.
"As part of the reference design stage we conducted an extensive design review, consulted with landowners and key stakeholders. We also undertook additional assessments to determine constructability of designs, conducted ecological and heritage field investigations and survey works," he said.
"We undertake these types of investigations, surveys and consultation at reference design stage to ensure we understand the potential environmental impacts of our draft designs prior to construction.
"We use these results to refine the project's design, and minimise impacts wherever possible. Through the reference design stage we have already seen an improved alignment and better outcomes for environmental and cultural heritage preservation."
Mr Maylin said the ARTC was also taking part in ongoing consultation with landowners that could potentially be impacted by the construction and operation of Inland Rail on issues such as design, flood modelling and noise levels.
The rail section's Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) will be submitted to the Department of Planning Industry and Environment (DPIE) in the coming months.
"Following submission, we will put the EIS on public exhibition for at least 28 days in late 2021, where the community will have an opportunity to have their say and provide feedback directly to DPIE to make a final recommendation for the Minister to approve or refuse the proposed project," Mr Maylin said.
For more information, call 1800 732 761.
Community information sessions:
- June 17 - 11am to 1pm outside the news agency at 7 Humphrys Street
- June 22 - 10am - 12pm at Illabo Tennis Clubhouse, Wood St
- June 22 - 2pm to 4pm at The Olde School T-house, 50 Baylis Street
- June 23 - 5pm to 7pm at Ellwood Hall, 32 Martin Street
- June 25 - 12pm to 2pm at Meagher & Co Building, 5/244 Hoskins Street
- June 25 - 4pm to 6pm at Cootamundra Library , 61-71 Wallendoon Street
- June 26 - 10am to 12pm at Cootamundra Library , 61-71 Wallendoon Street
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