Report vindicates Inland Rail concerns
NSW Farmers’ and the Country Women’s Association of NSW have today welcomed the release of a long-awaited report from the Senate Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Reference Committee (“the Committee”) into the management of the Inland Rail project.
The report, released yesterday afternoon, is appropriately titled “Inland Rail: derailed from the start” comprehensively details a range of major issues in relation to the Inland Rail project, including the business case for the development, failings in community engagement and consultation, route selection issues and flooding and hydrology concerns.
The Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) was roundly criticised for their bungling of the project to date and the federal government’s role in certain strategic failures to address the issues surrounding the project rollout was also highlighted.
“We thank the committee for their comprehensive work in reviewing and reporting on the significant failures that exist in relation to the delivery of this nation-building project,” said NSW Farmers Inland Rail Taskforce Chair Adrian Lyons.
“NSW Farmers have been raising many concerns in relation to this project for over 6 years now, and this is the first time that we have actually felt heard, and where we have seen the concerns of our members reflected in the findings of a government process," Mr Lyons said.
“ARTC have continually had a ‘crash or crash-through’ mentality when it comes to the execution of this project. Well today; they have crashed. In a major way."
Chief Executive Office of the Country Women’s Association of NSW, Danica Leys, said her members agree.
“The publication of this report strongly vindicates our work and the concerns that have been expressed by our respective members," Ms Leys said.
“The project has become a basket case of mismanagement and budget blowouts, combined with a total unwillingness from the project proponents to listen to community concerns.”
“The report shines a huge light on these matters and totally supports the advocacy work that that we’ve been undertaking."
Both organisations have now called on the federal government to act on the recommendations made in the report, and look forward to discussing these recommendations further with the Deputy Prime Minister at an upcoming meeting.
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