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Big turnouts for Inland Rail Albury-to-Illabo meetings

Albury

 

More than 100 Wagga Wagga locals have attended the last of Inland Rail’s public drop-in sessions on the Preferred Infrastructure Report for the Albury-to-Illabo section of the project.

The Wagga event followed big turnouts at drop-in meetings held last week in Albury, Henty, and Junee, with communities getting their questions answered by specialist Inland Rail staff.

Residents were also advised on how they could make a formal submission to the New South Wales Department of Planning and Environment in response to the report.

The Albury to Illabo section of Inland Rail includes enhancements along approximately 185km of existing rail corridor from the Victoria-NSW border to Illabo in regional NSW.

While the existing rail line will be used, enhancements and modifications will be needed to provide sufficient height and width to support the safe running of double-stacked freight trains.

Works will include enhancements to:

  • rail tracks
  • footbridges and road bridges
  • overhead structures
  • signal structures
  • level crossings.

In Wagga, Albury to Parkes Project Director Melvyn Maylin attended the entire four-hour session and spoke personally with attendees, directly addressing their concerns and answering a range of questions around the project.

The Albury to Illabo PIR is now on public exhibition until December 6, with locals invited to make a submission on the project to the NSW Department of Planning and Environment (DPE). Inland Rail will then prepare a Response to Submissions Report addressing each submission.

The DPE will consider the PIR and the Response to Submissions in its review of the project and make a final recommendation for the Minister’s consideration.

“We are delighted with the public reception to our drop-in sessions in Albury, Henty, Junee, and Wagga Wagga over the last week, it has been a fantastic success,” Maylin said.

“I would like to personally thank the locals in the Albury to Illabo area for attending the drop-in sessions and for conducting our conversations in a reasonable and dignified manner, showing respect to our staff even though there are issues on which we cannot give them the answers they might like.

“These events are all about having one-on-one conversations with local people, answering their questions, and addressing their individual concerns about how the delivery of Albury to Illabo will impact them, and that’s exactly what we did.

“We have also helped lots of locals understand how they can make a formal submission to the NSW Department of Planning and Environment in response to the PIR, assisting them in taking a part in the democratic approvals process.”