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Monday, 23 November 2009
Page: 12496

Dear Mrs Irwin

Thank you for your letter dated 19 August 2009 about a petition seeking changes to the construction approval conditions for the Australian Rail Track Corporation’s (ARTC) Southern Sydney Freight Line (SSFL) project.

This is a matter that should be referred to the State Government, as they set the regulations and standards around the construction for any rail project in New South Wales.

It should however be noted that the SSFL proposal underwent a comprehensive planning and environmental assessment before it was approved. In particular, it underwent an assessment process under Part 3A of the NSW Environment Planning and Assessment Act 1979. In addition to this, the Australian Government Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts also assessed the project under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

Following these assessments, the NSW Minister for Planning imposed 74 conditions to his approval and the Hon Peter Garrett AM MP, Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts, an additional eight.

The ARTC has committed to fully comply with all of the conditions outlined as part of the approval process, including those relating to noise and vibrations.

Thus, the ARTC is investing $13.5m to install noise walls along the SSFL. The specific locations and length of the noise walls have been determined by site specific modelling to ensure the noise along the SSFL complies with the conditions set out in the NSW Government’s planning approval.

Thank you for raising this matter.

from the Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government, Mr Albanese