Better protection of data gathered, improved indemnity provisions and greater engagement with landholders underpinned a revised ARTC land access agreement negotiated between the ARTC and NSW Farmers.
Importantly, this new agreement ensures that information gathered for the purposes of inland rail can only be used by the ARTC to construct the inland rail. No information they, or their contractors, gather can be used for any other purpose.
The Principles of Land Access have been adopted from a similar agreement NSW Farmers struck with the mining industry a few years ago. By leveraging our experience, we are creating a more level playing field for farmers and land holders as they seek to engage in the development of this project.
Notwithstanding the finalisation of a more farmer-friendly agreement, NSW Farmers continues to have questions about the inland rail, and will continue fighting on our members’ behalf for answers.
Last week we met with the Deputy Prime Minister, Michael McCormack MP, to again call for an independent inquiry into the selection of the preferred route between Narromine and Narrabri.
We remain concerned about the lack of detail about passing loops, crossing access and intermodals. Despite the signing of a bilateral agreement between the Commonwealth and NSW Governments last week, the detail is still secret. We just do not know what the two governments have actually agreed to.
The land access agreement is just one of our concerns, which has been dealt with. There are many matters, which remain outstanding and we will continue working toward their resolution.
NSW Farmers will conduct an inland rail community meeting in Curban at 1pm on May 22. All welcome to attend the meeting where we will provide an update on the project. Call 1300 794 000 for more information.
NSW Farmers’ CEO Matt Brand