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Deputy Prime Minister visit for Moree's Inland Rail

Yesterday, Councillors and senior management met with Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack MP, Minister for Infrastructure and Transport and our local Federal Member for Parkes, Mark Coulton MP, Assistant Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment.

These discussions follow a meeting late last year with the then Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Mr Coulton in relation to Moree Plains Shire’s Inland Rail project, and in particular the Moree Intermodal Park.

At yesterday’s meeting, a similar briefing was provided to Deputy Prime Minister McCormack and Assistant Minister Coulton as well as an update as regards progress since that time.

One of the most significant outcomes this year has been the commencement of the Shire’s Strategic Transport Plan. The total project value is $425,000; comprising some funding and in-kind contributions by Council, with the lion’s share being made available by the Federal Government.

Council is working with both the Federal Government and the NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet to engage specialist assistance to prepare the Plan for the Shire which will be targeted at ensuring the whole Shire is ‘Inland Rail ready’ by the time the rail line is upgraded in 2020.

This was welcomed by the Deputy Prime Minister in yesterday’s discussions as funding will be available for ‘shovel ready’ infrastructure projects complementary to the Inland Rail.

Mayor Humphries said, “It was a very fruitful meeting. Moree’s long-standing commitment to the Inland Rail was explicitly acknowledged by the Federal Government which was great to hear. As an organisation, this freight link has been part of our long-term strategic vision for the Shire and so many of our projects and activities have been in readiness of this project.

“We also emphasised how critical the private sector will be to ensuring the Moree Plains is in the best position to take advantage of the Inland Rail. It was so pleasing for me to be able to report to our Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister how existing local businesses are making substantial investments now and how this project is generating new investment in the Shire,” she said.

Mayor Humphries also confirmed “Council has financed a video to show to the world at large how we are Inland Rail Ready which was released on our Facebook page yesterday. I encourage everyone to have a look and share it widely. It’s a great story that we are all part of!”