Gilgandra is a significant step closer to improved water access with the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) today announcing four sites where bores, supplying water for the construction of Inland Rail and ultimately the local community, will be drilled.
Drilling and testing work will start this week, following a partnership between the Gilgandra Shire Council and ARTC, which investigated and decided upon sites for new water bores, capable of supplying water required for the construction of the Narromine to Narrabri section of Inland Rail.
The bores will be located at:
- Box Ridge Road
- Curban Hall
- Wyuna Road
- Old Mill Road
Inland Rail Delivery Director Southern Paul Giess said the new bores will benefit the local community long after the construction of Narromine to Narrabri section of Inland Rail is finished.
“We are delighted to be working with the Gilgandra Shire Council on delivering these bores, and once we see completion of the Narromine to Narrabri section of Inland Rail, we will turn the bores over to the Council so the community can continue to benefit from them long-term,” said Mr Giess.
“Sourcing water through methods that didn’t compete with current needs was something we heard time and time again during consultation in Gilgandra – the four new bores we are drilling will reduce the volume of water drawn from existing supplies and improve water access for the community once the construction of Inland Rail is completed.
“Water is critical to farmers and communities along the alignment, we are committed to minimising the impact of construction and are pleased to have found a solution that will leave a lasting legacy and provide a long-term benefit to the Gilgandra region.”
Federal Member for Parkes Mark Coulton said this is great news for the Gilgandra community.
“Communities rely on water, and the delivery of these bores demonstrates Inland Rail’s commitment to the region,” Mr Coulton said.
“This will provide long-term water security for the Gilgandra shire, while reducing the short-term impact on the local community during the construction of Inland Rail. Once again, this reiterates that planning is key in executing a project of this scale.”
Gilgandra Shire Council Mayor Doug Batten said Council has championed these investigations from the beginning and worked closely with ARTC to ensure that a suitable outcome for farmers, landowners and community members is reached when it comes to accessing water.
“It was important that these water sources do not compete with existing stock or domestic bores and we are thrilled that this is a long-term win for the region.
“The drilling and testing work of the new bores is expected to be completed by mid-2022. Further community engagement by Council will take place as part of the licensing phase which will happen once the test bore results are collated and reviewed.”