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NOBODY knows when work will start on the $7.4 million Intermodal Rail Freight Hub.
Of Transport for NSW, Tamworth MP Kevin Anderson and Tamworth Regional Council, not one can name an actual start date for the project that is already more than a year behind schedule.
The multi-million dollar project will open the door to international markets for inland produce, that could be transported to Port Botany and beyond.
Council has undertaken a master plan for the site, storm water strategy and planning for other infrastructure such as water, sewer and roadworks.
But not even the mayor's requests for information on a start date have been met with an answer.
"It's been a real challenge and it's something that I don't think any of us have enjoyed," Cr Murray said.
"Transport for NSW are the lead agency and their contractor is John Holland Rail, so council is a little bit removed from this.
"We get our information through a few different hands and that makes it a little bit more difficult."
The early development design stage has begun and Cr Murray hopes the project will hit the ground running in the coming months.
The initial announcement had the project pegged for completion at the end of 2018.
Funds for the first phase of the project were released in October last year, Tamworth MP Kevin Anderson handed Cr Murray a cheque for the project a year before that.
The $7.4 million is to upgrade six kilometres of track along the unused Barraba spur line that will link the hub and proposed council-owned business park to a functional line in West Tamworth.
The rail hub and combined business park are expected to generate at least 5000 jobs for the city.
There's 246 hectares of industrial land in the business park that could be serviced by the rail freight hub.
The word "bureaucracy" was used by both Cr Murray and Tamworth MP Kevin Anderson in explanations for the rail project's inexplicable start date.
"There's a lot of checks and balances," Mr Anderson said.
"They [Transport for NSW] have to cross their 't''s and dot their 'i''s so it's a lot of money and the bureaucracy sometimes works slow.
This article first appeared on www.northerndailyleader.com.au
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