LIVERPOOL Plains Shire Council (LPSC) has secured reinforcements in its push for government action to end lengthy delays at the region’s busy rail crossings.
The NSW Roads and Transport Directorate has backed the council’s calls for the state and federal governments to make investment in rail overpasses a priority.
Residents in Werris Creek, Quirindi and Willow Tree are subject to increasingly frequent waits at rail crossings as coal trains more than a kilometre long pass through.
The council, which is calling for the installation of rail overpasses to help ease the congestion, has accused government agencies and industry representatives of “passing the buck” on the issue.
But the directorate, comprising the Institute of Public Works and Local Government NSW, put the matter back firmly on the agenda at its recent local roads congress.
The NSW and Australian government must “consider and address the cumulative impact of increasing road and rail freight on communities and initiate infrastructure improvements, such as rail overpasses, to improve transport efficiency,” the directorate said.
The Department of Planning should “develop strategies to determine and mitigate the cumulative impact of state-significant development on communities and transport infrastructure beyond the immediate development area.”
LPSC councillor Rob Webster said the directorate clearly recognised the impact large mining operations can have on regional communities.
“These are important issues to local residents who are increasingly frustrated by the continued buck-passing between the government departments, authorities and industry in facing up and addressing them,” he said.
“The problem is not going to go away, it is only going to get worse. The community notes the millions of dollars that have been spent on infrastructure to keep the big trains rolling and increasingly resents the delays to their ability to get around unimpeded.”