It's time to fix Inland Rail
NSW Farmers and the CWA of NSW have stressed the importance of getting the Inland Rail project back on track as they welcomed the appointment of Catherine King as federal Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government.
"Our communities want this project to go ahead, but the last few years have been frustrating," NSW Farmers Inland Rail Taskforce chair Adrian Lyons said.
"We’ve tried to work with bureaucrats, previous ministers, and the ARTC themselves to put forward science and evidence-based concerns in relation to the execution of this project, and at almost every turn we have been ignored.
“This tin-eared approach has cost the project time, and it has caused the community stress and angst. This has to stop.”
Both organisations had been calling for an independent review of the Inland Rail project, in line with their respective policy positions voted on by members.
"The fact is, if this independent review had been done when it was first raised, we’d have track already laid in greenfield sites by now,” CWA of NSW president Joy Beames said.
The organisations agreed that a review of the ARTC's business case and other matters would be welcome, but they also didn't want to see more time and money wasted.
“A recent Senate inquiry into the ARTC’s management of the Inland Rail project produced a comprehensive set of findings and recommendations,” Ms Beame said.
“The previous government ignored many of them, and the lack of consultation has cost the project time.
“We urge the new government and Minister King to revisit this report as a matter of urgency and to take immediate steps to engage with us, and the wider community, about how these recommendations can be adopted.”