Citizens’ jury to choose benefits for residents living near Moorebank terminal

The Moorebank Intermodal Company (MIC) has launched a ‘citizens’ jury’ to develop a $1 million program that will increase the benefits for people living nearby the Moorebank Intermodal terminal in Sydney.

According to MIC, newDemocracy, an independent, non-partisan research foundation, will oversee the jury, which it will randomly select from suburbs near the terminal.

“Major infrastructure projects tend to have squadrons of experts and consultants telling the community a project is good for them. At newDemocracy we don’t think that actually creates public trust in the project,” said newDemocracy Executive Director, Iain Walker.

“Instead, we’re going to take a jury of around 30 everyday people picked by lottery from the local community and ask them to look at the project in real detail. If they can consider the evidence across 30+ hours and make decisions on the local benefits they see as a fair trade-off for some of the disruption which occurs when you build something this big, then we think the local community will be interested in their view.”

MIC CEO, Ian Hunt, was pleased the local community will take a greater share of the benefits of the terminal. “The terminal will benefit the broader community through billions of dollars in productivity gains and lower traffic growth in parts of Sydney,” he said.

“There will be some local impacts, so the terminal will include a raft of measures to reduce these impacts to meet government environmental guidelines. On top of this, the local benefits program will increase the positive impacts for people living nearby.

The jury will meet between late July and September 2014 and will be asked to weigh up information about the terminal and potential community projects – including the advice of any witnesses they call and the views of other community members – before deciding what the program will include.

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