In Sydney this week, the National Farmers’ Federation hosted an Inland Rail Community Engagement Roundtable.
The Rountable was attended by the Deputy Prime Minister, Michael McCormack, Drought Minister David Littleproud and Regional Services Minister and Parkes MP, Mark Coulton.
The Roundtable took stock of the Inland Rail route selection and community engagement to date. It will also considered how to improve future engagement on the delivery of Inland Rail.
The Roundtable brought together the Australian Government; Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC); the NFF and their members — the NSW Farmers’ Association, AgForce Queensland and the Victorian Farmers’ Federation; the Country Women’s Association and Millmerran Rail Group.
“Over the past months we have been working closely with the Australian Government to establish this Roundtable,” NFF President Fiona Simson said.
“We welcome the Government’s willingness to listen to community views on consultation during the early route selection process, as well as their desire to find a way forward for the delivery of Inland Rail.
“We have a long history of collaboration with the Government and know they share our vision for strong, resilient and prosperous regions.
“Achieving the NFF’s vision to grow Australian agriculture to a $100 billion industry by 2030 depends on investment in critical infrastructure that improves agriculture’s productivity. The Inland Rail promises to support this goal.
“In order for our industry to grow and remain domestically and internationally competitive, we must work collaboratively with government to ensure we continue to see strategic and sustainable infrastructure investment to drive the farming sector forward.
“Our organisation has always said that Inland Rail has the potential to transform the agriculture sector — a fact I reiterated when I wrote to the Deputy Prime Minister in July to request a roundtable on the Inland Rail route.
“I believe Inland Rail will be critical to the success of our industry over the coming decades. I look forward to working closely with the Australian Government to ensure our farmers are in the best possible position to seize the opportunities from Inland Rail,” Ms Simson said.