Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Mitchell Shire welcomes Inland Rail review findings

Mitchell Shire Council has welcomed the findings of an independent review of Inland Rail led by Dr Kerry Schott AO.

In her report, Dr Schott recommends a staged approach to delivering Inland rail, prioritising its delivery from Beveridge in Victoria to Parkes in NSW, while increasing resilience and improving supply chain productivity between Melbourne, Perth, Sydney, Newcastle, the Illawarra, and Adelaide.

Council says it has been a strong advocate of Inland Rail, and more specifically the terminal at Beveridge, and recognises it as an essential infrastructure project for the country.

“Mitchell has led the advocacy for the Beveridge terminal as a key piece of infrastructure to unlock the potential of the Inland Rail Project and fundamentally transform freight and logistics,” the Council said in a statement today.

The Report recommends that two new intermodal terminals be developed concurrently in Melbourne, with Beveridge to be available as soon as practical and the second, WIFT, at Truganina.

Mitchell Shire CEO, Brett Luxford said a Council submission to the review outlined the importance of Beveridge Terminal to the Federal Government’s Inland Rail Review.

“And we are pleased to see that the review supported our position,” he said.

“The outcomes from the Review along with the comments from Minister King support the National Intermodal Corporation’s significant investment in the Beveridge Terminal announced last week.

“We look forward to seeing activation of this precinct in coming years.”

The Report acknowledges Beveridge and Truganina in Victoria as the preferred locations for open-access intermodal terminals, with Beveridge and Ebenezer, in Queensland, as the endpoints for Inland Rail’s double-stacked service.

The Report recommends addressing modifications to limit noise and enable connectivity within our townships during construction and operation.

“Mitchell Shire will be one of the most heavily impacted communities along the Inland Rail route with seven of the 12 Tottenham to Albury project sites situated in the shire,” said Mr Luxford.

“While this is a great outcome, there are still some challenges with Inland Rail for our communities that need to be addressed including improved consultation with our community on the proposed changes to the rail network as it goes through our townships.”

The Inland Rail project is the single largest infrastructure project to ever come through Mitchell Shire.

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