NSW Farmers, Media Release, 15 March 2021
NSW Farmers and the Country Women’s Association of NSW (CWA of NSW) are alarmed by a proposal that would stifle community consultation on the Inland Rail project.
It comes as the NSW Minister for Planning the Hon Rob Stokes MP has issued an order declaring the construction of the Inland Rail in NSW as a critical state significant infrastructure project.
NSW Farmers Inland Rail Taskforce Chair Adrian Lyons said the effect of this order would be to prevent people from making objections to the project.
“One of the main problems we have had with the ARTC’s handling of this project to date is the lack of community consultation, so this move by the Planning Minister rubs salt in old wounds,” Mr Lyons said.
“The project has been littered with poor decisions and inadequate reports on potential effects of noise and vibration, business interruption and loss of the use of land because of this significant project that could be life-changing for many.”
“To take away the voices of these people is a major and disturbing move by the Minister.”
CWA of NSW CEO Danica Leys said members of both her organisation and NSW Farmers have had their questions and complaints regarding the route ignored, so this is a worrying development that could end any avenue to meaningful consultation.
“What this project desperately requires is orders to make the ARTC more accountable, not expand their decision-making power like this order does,” Mrs Leys said.
“The ARTC will be able to hide behind this order, with potentially devastating consequences for some in regional communities.”
“Our organisations are calling on the Planning Minister to support the people whose lives will change because they’ll be forced to sell their land, rather than bolstering the ARTC in this important project.”