Moorebank Intermodal Company (MIC) was established by the Australian Government to oversee the development of a freight terminal at Moorebank. The terminal will improve the distribution of freight arriving in Sydney through Port Botany and on the interstate rail network. The terminal will benefit the NSW and Australian economy but it will also have an impact in the local community. MIC wants to ensure that people living near the terminal receive more of the benefits so has established a ‘local benefits fund’ of $1m.
The terminal must meet government environmental guidelines (e.g. on air quality, noise and traffic) so the terminal will include a host of measures to reduce its environmental impacts.
MIC has appointed the newDemocracy Foundation (nDF) to establish the Moorebank Intermodal Citizens’ Jury, a mixed group of everyday people, to determine how the $1m should be spent to benefit the local community. The Citizens’ Jury will be made up of local citizens randomly selected to represent the community around the new Terminal. The Moorebank Intermodal Citizens’ Jury will meet five times across July, August and September to consider this matter and hear from experts and community members of their choosing.
For the newDemocracy Foundation the objective of this deliberative process is to explore the applicability of deliberative process to a single major infrastructure project. Another unique feature of this project is that MIC have agreed upfront to accept the recommendations of the Citizens’ Jury.
Citizens’ juries provide a mechanism to deliver community trust in the outcomes. They provide a way for everyday citizens, whose voices are often not heard in the traditional models of community engagement where those with a specific interest and the loudest voices tend to dominate. nDF will encourage all these interest groups to make their cases to the jury so that these voices are heard without being the sole ‘community’ voice of influence. If you would like to make a submission to the Moorebank Intermodal Citizens’ Jury please send it to MoorebankCitizensJury@newdemocracy.com.au