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With the Australian Rail Track Corporation releasing three designs for Benalla Station’s Inland Rail alterations, Federal Member for Indi Helen Haines has urged the community to have a say.
Dr Haines said now was the time for Benalla to make its voices heard to ensure the Rose City got the best outcome from the project.
“The latest draft designs... show the advocacy and lobbying (from community groups) was already making an impact,” Dr Haines said.
Engaging in the next stage of consultation would make it impossible to ignore the views of communities on the options proposed.”
The north-east leg of the Federal Government’s $15.4 billion Inland Rail project requires major infrastructure works to allow taller and heavier double-stacked trains to run on the North-East line.
In Benalla, once that work is complete, there will be 19 double-stacked freight trains coming through every 24 hours, on top of passenger rail services.
Track realignment with underpassThere has been deep concern along the rail line about what the works would mean for regional towns, with strong opposition to large new overpasses to accommodate the double-stacked trains.
Dr Haines has been working with the people of Benalla for years through consultation with the ARTC.
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“When I first started meeting with the ARTC two years ago, they told me their overpass proposals were a done deal, and the community proposals would be too expensive and could never happen,” Dr Haines said.
“But together we got a community proposal on the table.
This article first appeared on www.sheppnews.com.au
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