In The Courier (June 9), Matt Norrie stated his concern regarding a proposal to greatly alter the Inland Rail line passing Narrabri.

Matt’s concern is certainly reasonable given that firstly much work had been put into the location of the line and many Narrabri people affected by the route of the line would have been well advanced in their plans in life, not only that the actual route would leave Narrabri and near areas very accessible straight through without too much interference given the nine-metre clearance level for traffic entering the town for highways and little number of other roads not be hampered in that design approved by the government and council.

Other problems stated in the need to change the proposal were water problems.

While one would think a few alterations on the elevation of the proposed plans would be plausible, however, to shorten my letter a bit I believe most of the problems of the creeks flowing through Narrabri from the mountains into Narrabri creek have had obvious alterations over the past 50 years or so.

The results of which are evident by the three or four creeks’ haphazard directional flow over the years not caused only by catchment volumes but in some situations human alterations.

Without being too long-winded, might I point out that the ancient Namoi River which cut its trail through Narrabri area thousands of years ago but stopped running through the town during the past 50 or so years as the controlling ancient weir at the first junction disappeared starting its act in the early 60s from what we can gather, the high-banked Namoi River now remains basically empty, unless water comes out of the Pilliga Forest or huge waters come from the Boggabri end flowing over the large earthen blockages at each junction.

The stream once called the swamp by early settlers now carries huge amounts of precious water while the Namoi 16 kilometres between the junctions is dry which apparently has been worried about too much by successive councils and government entities although people owning homes and properties on each side of those 16 kilometres must feel sorry their waterfront property was no more and the extra 16 kilometres of good water storage between the junctions disappeared.

In such a dry region the whole episode is incredible.

Narrabri, no doubt like most growing towns, must do something to keep the place progressing however, I agree with Matt Norrie, which to me means we should be trying, to get the near town past problems rectified not walk away and avoid the known through Narrabri town creeks and water directional manipulations over many years.

Nor should we quite possibly create other wholesale problems close by.

Russell Schatz, Narrabri

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