One of Wagga's councillors is urging local governments across the country to unite and pressure the federal government into addressing concerns surrounding the controversial $14.5 billion Inland Rail project.
The newly-elected Labor government has stated a review will be launched into the major infrastructure project, which has been plagued with land use issues, cost blowouts and route concerns.
Wagga councillor Richard Foley believes the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) should call on the government to create an Inland Rail forum made up of council representatives from across Victoria, NSW and Queensland.
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He said the forum would allow councils to raise concerns on how the project will impact the liveability of their cities directly with the federal government.
"Nobody is saying let's get rid of this thing entirely but let's turn it into a proper, fit-for-purpose project," Cr Foley said.
"This forum would mean that when the new government reviews the project, all the cards are on the table and the best outcomes can be put forward."
The current edition of the project involves significantly upgrading the railway line that runs through the centre of Wagga and raising the various bridges that run over the tracks to allow for bigger trains.
Cr Foley said there are serious concerns with how the project will impact the lives of Wagga residents have been brushed off by the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC).
He believes the noise and vibration of the heavier trains, as well as the increase in traffic along the tracks, will negatively impact the livelihood of residents who live in close proximity to the line.
"Communities right up from Victoria to Queensland, especially in the regional areas, are not being heard about some of their concerns," Cr Foley said.
Wagga resident Adam Boxall recently purchased a property on Erin Street in Turvey Park and said he was blindsided by the lack of information available on the Inland Rail.
It was only when he looked into the project himself that he became aware of the potentially huge impact the rebuild of the Edmondson Street bridge could have on his home.
"I've asked for more information but all my requests have just fallen on deaf ears," Mr Boxall said.
"There needs to be more transparency and they need to provide people with more information."
Wangaratta resident Daniel Sciberras told Australian Rail Track Corporation he welcomed the project.
"I think Inland Rail is going to be good for the locals, good for the economy to get freight moving north to south, and really open up the country," he said.
"It'll bring people into the town, infrastructure getting built, local jobs, which is all what we want to see."
On Tuesday, Cr Foley will call on Wagga City Council to submit a late motion to the ALGA's upcoming national general assembly.
If the motion is accepted by his fellow councillors, it could be debated by councils from across the country and potentially adopted as one of the ALGA's initiatives.
"At the moment the ARTC can just brush off complains because they think it's a little country town and a bunch of whingers but if all councils get together on this it sends a stronger message," Cr Foley said.
"It's a nation-building project but at the moment we're not being heard on certain issues and we need a better outcome before they start ripping the city and the bridges up."
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