ARTC proposes Inland Rail material distribution centre for Narromine

Narromine could be home to major piece of infrastructure to support the Inland Rail project. Photo: File
Narromine could be home to major piece of infrastructure to support the Inland Rail project. Photo: File

A MULTI-MILLION dollar facility designed to support the Inland Rail project could be on the cards for Narromine in the state's Orana region.

The Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) has proposed a material distribution centre be built in Narromine, as a hub to help get parts and equipment to other areas of the project.

Planning and assessment of the project, which will service the future installation of ballast, sleepers, rail and turnouts along the 1700-kilometre Inland Rail project, is currently under way.

ARTC Inland Rail interim chief executive Rebecca Pickering said Narromine was selected for the southern material distribution centre due to its prominence and locality along the Inland Rail alignment.

"Narromine is a significant location for the Inland Rail as it is the staging point for the largest greenfield section of the project between Narromine and Narrabri," Mrs Pickering said.

"It is hoped that the development of the facility will generate opportunities for jobs and suppliers of goods and services in the area.

"In addition to storing materials, we would also set up site offices which will generate long-lasting employment opportunities."

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As well as providing local jobs, Mrs Pickering said the ARTC was eager to get the community's input on the proposed project during the planning stages.

"At this point, we're looking to carry out environmental investigations of an area just outside the Narromine township so that we have a firm understanding on the cultural heritage, air quality, noise and vibration impacts and flooding risks," she said.

"We will undertake an Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Assessment and will be consulting with any people or organisations that hold cultural knowledge relevant to determining the significance of Aboriginal objects and places in the locality.

"We will work closely with Narromine Shire Council and will update the community as plans progress."

Parkes MP Mark Coulton, whose federal electorate is home to much of the project which when finished, will connect Melbourne and Brisbane, said the project was a great opportunity for the Narromine community.

"We're already seeing the enormous benefits Inland Rail is bringing to communities along the Narrabri to North Star section, and now it's Narromine's turn to reap the rewards," Mr Coulton said.

"This distribution centre will create a boom for the local economy, providing opportunities for local people and businesses to be involved in this once-in-a-generation project.

"Inland Rail will support 7,500 jobs in New South Wales at the peak of construction and boost Gross State Product by $3.4 billion over construction and the first 50 years of operation.

"Once complete, the Melbourne to Brisbane line will provide connection to a network of roads and rail that can increase the resilience of local supply chains and enhance capacity for regional businesses to access new markets for generations to come."

ARTC will now complete a Review of Environmental Factors (REF) process and pending the outcome of the REF and further planning, work will commence later next year.

This story Major Inland Rail development floated for Narromine first appeared on Daily Liberal.