The Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) is investigating the possibility of building a material distribution centre in Narromine as part of the Inland Rail project.

Planning and investigations are underway for the proposed facility which will service the future installation of ballast, sleepers, rail and turnouts along the 1700km Inland Rail alignment.

ARTC Inland Rail Interim Chief Executive, Rebecca Pickering, said Narromine has been selected as the preferred location for the southern material distribution centre due to its prominence and locality along the Inland Rail alignment.

“Narromine is a significant location for the Inland Rail as it is the staging point for the largest greenfield section of the project between Narromine and Narrabri,” Ms Pickering said.

“It is hoped that the development of the facility will generate opportunities for jobs and suppliers of goods and services in the area.

“In addition to storing materials, we would also set up site offices which will generate long-lasting employment opportunities.”

Federal Member for Parkes, Mark Coulton, said the proposed distribution centre in Narromine is a great win for the local community.

“We’re already seeing the enormous benefits Inland Rail is bringing to communities along the Narrabri to North Star section, and now it’s Narromine’s turn to reap the rewards,” Mr Coulton said.

“Inland Rail will support 7,500 jobs in New South Wales at the peak of construction and boost Gross State Product by $3.4 billion over construction and the first 50 years of operation.

“Once complete, the Melbourne to Brisbane line will provide connection to a network of roads and rail that can increase the resilience of local supply chains and enhance capacity for regional businesses to access new markets for generations to come.”

Mrs Pickering encouraged the community to take part in the planning process which will need to be completed over the coming months before construction starts in early 2022.

“At this point, we’re looking to carry out environmental investigations of an area just outside the Narromine township so that we have a firm understanding on the cultural heritage, air quality, noise and vibration impacts and flooding risks,” Ms Pickering said.

“We will undertake an Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Assessment and will be consulting with any people or organisations that hold cultural knowledge relevant to determining the significance of Aboriginal objects and places in the locality.

“We will work closely with Narromine Shire Council and will update the community as plans progress.”

ARTC will now undertake a Review of Environmental Factors (REF) process. 

Pending the outcome of the REF and further planning, work will commence in 2022.

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