Fifteen project proposals, including Narrabri, will receive expert technical and commercial support under the Australian government’s Inland Rail Interface Improvement Program (II Program).

Of those selected in this second round, seven proposals have come from the Parkes electorate. The projects moving forward in the electorate include Auscott Narrabri, Transport for NSW (Dubbo and Narrabri West), Gilgandra Shire Council, Lachlan Shire Council, Narromine Shire Council, Louis Dreyfus (Moree) and Pacific National (Moree).

Minister for Regional Health, Regional Communications and Local Government, Mark Coulton, said it was ‘great news for the region’.

“The Parkes electorate is in the driver’s seat to benefit from projects that are moving forward under the II Program – ones that improve our supply chains and better connect country rail lines to the Inland Rail,” he said.

“These regions are our lifeblood for resources and agricultural production.”

Mr Coulton visited Narrabri yesterday to make the Auscott Narrabri proposal announcement.

“The Inland Rail will connect Melbourne to Brisbane and what’s important is that we make sure we’ve got the right connectivity and facilities along the way, to ensure it operates effectively and efficiently,” he said.

“Auscott has been loading trains here for around 10 years, but the new updates will mean they can make the loads longer and heavier.”

Mr Coulton assured Narrabri residents that the larger trains won’t present any noise issues for the local area.

“They’ll produce a similar level of noise to the current trains that run along the line, and we’re in an industrial part of town so homes shouldn’t be affected,” he said.

Auscott’s general manager, commercial and water resources, Bernie George, says he’s thrilled to be involved.

“Auscott is pleased to be involved and we anticipate the study will identify how to improve the capacity and efficiency of our facility here in Narrabri,” he said.

“And those improvements will be an asset for the local district, allowing us to service container and bulk commodity trains concurrently.”

Mr Coulton added to Mr George’s words, claiming “it will ultimately make the transport process cheaper and more efficient for farmers in the area.”

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Michael McCormack, said the II Program was a great way for local government,
industry and regional communities to enhance supply chain productivity in their areas and realise the potential of Inland Rail.

“Inland Rail is sparking activity right along the alignment as people and regions explore new ways to connect to the line, work on construction and supply the project with materials and services,” he said.

“I’m pleased to be supporting 15 proposals that seek to further build on these benefits, ranging from longer and better rail sidings in Back Creek, NSW, to enhanced local road connections to Inland Rail in Bromelton, Queensland.”

“The successful proponents will now receive specialist support from technical advisors appointed by the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications to build business cases and undertake studies that test the merits and feasibility of each proposal.”

The II Program does not guarantee funding for the project, but it will enable local ideas to be developed for further investment consideration.

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