The Narrabri to North Star section of the Inland Rail project seeks approval to upgrade approximately 186 km of existing rail line and associated facilities between Narrabri and North Star in north west NSW.
An Environmental Impact Statement for the project was on public exhibition from 15 November to 15 December 2017.
In response to submissions received, and consideration of design complexities related to the Mehi-Gwydir floodplain, the project was divided in to two separate portions to allow environmental assessment to proceed for Phase 1 separately to a new consultation and assessment process for Phase 2.
Phase 1 was approved 13 August 2020 and is currently under construction.
The amendment was introduced in the project’s Submissions and Preferred Infrastructure Report (SPIR).
The Minister for Planning and Public Spaces approved Phase 1 of the Narrabri to North Star project in August 2020, which includes rebuilding existing rail track and track formation, upgrading crossings, replacing rail bridges, adding new road bridges, and providing new crossing loops.
Phase 1 consists of two sections of upgraded track and associated facilities, comprising:
- 93 km of track between Narrabri and Moree
- 80 km of track between Camurra and North Star.
The project was approved as part of the NSW Government’s Planning System Acceleration Program that is fast-tracking planning assessments to keep people in jobs and the economy moving during the COVID-19 crisis.
Phase 2 involves the upgrade of approximately 13 km of the existing rail line track and track formation within the Narrabri to North Star corridor running from Moree north to beyond the Camurra Bypass, including the Mehi-Gwydir river crossings, and construction of 1.6 km of new track and formation to bypass the Camurra hairpin.
The Environmental Impact Statement for Phase 2 was placed on public exhibition from 21 September to 9 November 2022.
Consultation and feedback
ARTC prepared an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for this project, including investigations and field studies, and community consultation. The EIS was placed on public exhibition between 21 September 2022 and 9 November 2022. The department welcomed feedback from the community, government agencies and other stakeholders during public exhibition. Feedback received will help us better understand the opinions and concerns of the community and will inform our assessment of the project.
What happens next
ARTC is preparing a formal Response to Submissions (RtS) report and Preferred Infrastructure Report (PIR) to respond to comments and issues raised during the public exhibition of the EIS. We will make these reports publicly available.
We will then assess the project, which includes consideration of the EIS, all submissions and community feedback, the RtS and PIR, and make a recommendation to the Minister for Planning and Public Spaces for their determination.
The Commonwealth Department of Environment and Energy has determined the Narrabri to North Star project to be a controlled action under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. Once determined by the department, the project will be assessed by the Federal government under an accredited assessment process.