Logistics, Ports & Terminals

Environmental Impact Statement for Inland Rail Phase 2 revealed

The Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for Phase 2 of the Narrabri to North Star (N2NS) section of Inland Rail is now on public exhibition.

The Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) has invited community members and stakeholders to provide feedback and make formal submissions, which will be considered by the Department of Planning and Environment (DPE) when assessing the N2NS Phase 2 project.

Construction started on N2NS in April 2021 with Phase 1, which involves upgrading 171km of existing track along the existing rail corridor.

Phase 2 of N2NS is now progressing through its EIS, which involves upgrading approximately 13km of existing track and building roughly 2km of new track across the Mehi-Gwydir floodplain at Camurra, north of Moree.

Drop-in and presentation sessions as part of the public exhibition period will be held from 27 September to 27 October 2022, where attendees can receive assistance with lodging a submission.

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Following the EIS public exhibition, a written report responding to issues raised during the consultation will be made publicly available and will be submitted to DPE and the Minister for Planning for consideration in assessing the N2NS Phase 2 project.

The EIS is available to view and comment on at the DPE Major Projects website until midnight 2 November, 2022.

Inland Rail Delivery Director (Central) Heather Parry said local communities and businesses are already seeing the benefits of Inland Rail through Phase 1 of the Narrabri to North Star Inland Rail project.

“As of July 2022, more than 600 local residents had worked on Inland Rail and more than $166 million had been spent with local businesses and suppliers,” she said.

“Now we’re looking toward Phase 2 of N2NS, where the EIS has been finalised following extensive environmental assessments and technical investigations that included consultation with landowners, local councils, and industry groups.

“We value community input during the design and approvals process, and we encourage members of the community to make a submission to the New South Wales Government during the public exhibition.”

Key elements of Phase 2 include raising railway heights to achieve improved flood immunity, enhancing operational capability and changes to existing bridges over the Mehi and Gwydir rivers.

“The project will also involve upgrading drainage and associated flood management works, modifying existing level crossings to improve safety and works on utilities, modifying infrastructure and fencing impacted by the track upgrade,” Parry said.

“Phase 2 works will link to Phase 1 construction, as well as the Weemelah line that branches off at Camurra.

“To date, we have consulted widely with landowners and local government and business stakeholders on a range of issues such as flooding, biodiversity, ecological and noise impacts to help inform the EIS.”

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