Planning and investigations are underway for the facility which will service the future installation of ballast, sleepers, rail and turnouts along the 1700-kilometre Inland Rail alignment.
ARTC Inland Rail interim Chief Executive Rebecca Pickering said Narromine has been selected as the preferred location 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,” she 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.”
Federal Member for Parkes Mark Coulton said the proposed distribution centre in Narromine is a great win for the local 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,” he 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.”
Pickering encouraged the community to take part in the planning process which will need to be completed over the coming months before construction starts early next year.
“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.”
ARTC will now undertake a Review of Environmental Factors (REF) process. Pending the outcome of the REF and further planning, work will commence later next year.
“We will work closely with Narromine Shire Council and will update the community as plans progress,” Pickering said.