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With construction for Inland Rail due to begin in the coming months, the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) is ramping up its presence in the Central West with a series of local industry briefings and community drop-in sessions throughout August and September.
The events to be held in Parkes, Narromine, Peak Hill and Dubbo, will complement the soon to be launched Inland Rail Community Working Hub in Parkes as well as Inland Rail exhibition stands planned at the upcoming Peak Hill, Parkes and Narromine show days.
ARTC NSW Community Engagement Manager for Inland Rail Helena Orel said with $7 million worth of ballast and capping contracts recently creating 16 jobs in the local area, the benefits of the $10 billion project were already flowing to the local community.
“The recent Inland Rail conference in Parkes demonstrated the positivity and enthusiasm for Inland Rail”, Ms Orel said.
“As Inland Rail gathers momentum, there will be more contracts and jobs to come and we will be working very closely with our local communities to ensure they see as much of the benefits as possible.”
“Ensuring we use local suppliers where we can is top of mind for ARTC. There will be many more opportunities. We’ve got 1700km of rail to build through three states and we will need construction workers, standing quarries, new quarries, more earthworks, more steel, more sleepers, concrete culverts, rail turn-outs, water, food, transport and accommodation. The list is extensive and delivers benefits to a broad cross-section of the community,” she said.
Ms Orel said community consultation was in full swing in other sections of the proposed route in NSW, which were still in the early stages.
“Local communities in the Central West have been welcoming us and talking to us about what is important to them. As we have demonstrated with the Parkes to Narromine section, input from landowners and councils is critical in shaping the design of Inland Rail. We are listening carefully and are highly aware of the need to understand individual requirements.”
“I encourage industry and the community to attend the sessions or catch up with us at these shows to find out more about the opportunities that Inland Rail potentially brings for them”, Ms Orel said.
ARTC is committed to ongoing consultation with landowners, industry and local communities.
For more information about the Parkes to Narromine or Narromine to Narrabri sections of the project, please contact the team on 1800 732 761 (toll free), or visit our website www.inlandrail.com.au.
This article first appeared on www.narrominenewsonline.com.au
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