Joint Media Release

Community Consultation on-track in Riverina

MC 83/18

Senator the Hon. Mathias Cormann
Minister for Finance and the Public Service
Leader of the Government in the Senate
Senator for Western Australia

The Hon. Michael McCormack MP
Deputy Prime Minister
Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development
Leader of the Nationals
Federal Member for Riverina

4 December 2018

The Australian Government is continuing to encourage locals to engage in the Inland Rail’s roll-out through the establishment of a Community Consultative Committee (CCC) for the Illabo to Stockinbingal section.

This section of the nation-building Inland Rail project is located in the Riverina region of New South Wales and will require 37 kilometres of new rail line being built at a green-field site.

This addition will help create a faster and more efficient connection to carry double-stacked freight trains between Brisbane and Melbourne, at reduced freight costs.

The transformational 1700km Inland Rail project will mean farmers and allied businesses in regions such as the Riverina can benefit from an efficient supply chain where produce can be moved to domestic and international markets with a projected $10 per tonne saving.

The Australian Government and the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) are committed to continued community collaboration, to ensure broader community gains from the Inland Rail’s construction, while minimising any local impacts.

This strategic and responsible approach is being demonstrated via the roll-out of the Illabo to Stockinbingal CCC; one of 10 CCCs which provide a clear communication link between the project team and local communities.

The NSW Department of Planning and the Environment has appointed former NSW State Minister Garry West as the Independent Chair of the Illabo to Stockinbingal CCC.

To further bolster community engagement, Riverina MP, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said local community members can now nominate for a position on the Illabo to Stockinbingal Inland Rail CCC.

Mr McCormack said he’d already held a number of meetings with local landholders in the region to listen to their views and would continue talks.

“Moving food and fibre to market faster, in greater volumes and more efficiently will open up inland Australia to new and exciting economic opportunities, ensuring our farmers become more competitive and have more money in their pockets to spend in local communities,” Mr McCormack said.

“The Inland Rail will deliver genuine benefits to farming communities and grow regional economies and we are making sure we optimise the design by continuing to listen to stakeholders and gather feedback.

“That’s why local knowledge and expertise is critical to the Community Consultative Committees.”

CCC members can include representatives from local councils, landowner groups, community representative groups and other interested community members, as well as ARTC representatives.

Minister for Finance and the Public Service Mathias Cormann said that Inland Rail is the sort of once-in-a-generation infrastructure project that will support our freight network into the next century.

“As Australia’s population increases so do the demands on our freight network. Australia’s freight volumes are expected to double by 2030 which is why we need to invest in a freight rail line that will still be in use and delivering benefits to the nation 100 years from now,” Mr Cormann said. 

“Australia’s rail system has always been an essential part of the fright supply chain and Inland Rail will be a pivotal part of Australia’s future freight network.”

Nominations for the Illabo to Stockinbingal Inland Rail Community Consultative Committee close at 4.00pm on Friday 1 February, 2019. 

CCCs are designed to facilitate engagement by acting as a conduit between the Inland Rail project team and local communities to share information or address any issues and concerns.

More information about the CCC process and applications for the Illabo to Stockinbingal Committee available here: https://inlandrail.artc.com.au/community-consultative-committees

[ENDS]

Media Contact(s): 

For Minister Cormann: Karen Wu - 0428 350 139
For the Deputy Prime Minister - Colin Bettles - 0447 718 781 | Dom Hopkinson - 0409 421 209

Senator the Hon Mathias Cormann, Minister for Finance and the Public Service, Perth