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Online ozbob

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Re: Inland Rail
« Reply #280 on: December 05, 2019, 04:58:17 AM »
I was interviewed by 7 News Brisbane today re Inland Rail and some concerns that have been raised particularly concerning coal dust.  Coal dust is only around 10% of black dust around a rail corridor.  It is at a level considered safe.  Most of the black dust is soil and rock in origin, with rubber particulate matter from motor vehicles.  Coal dust is not an issue along the western line.

https://www.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0033/68775/rail-coal-dust-final-report.pdf

https://www.aurizon.com.au/-/media/project/aurizon/files/sustainability/coal-dust-fact-sheet.pdf

I hope the residents realise that they will have a quad track railway if things go ahead according to the broad plan.

Two dual gauge freight lines.  Two narrow gauge lines for Citytrain services.

^

https://twitter.com/7NewsBrisbane/status/1202144582219157504
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Online ozbob

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Re: Inland Rail
« Reply #281 on: December 05, 2019, 05:07:43 AM »
^

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Re: Inland Rail
« Reply #282 on: December 06, 2019, 01:28:42 AM »
Couriermail --> Inland Rail would profoundly transform Australia

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IT’S nation building on a heroic scale, a train line that will reduce the Great Dividing Range to a gentle slope, the vast plains of inland Australia to scenery and hook up billions of dollars worth of products and produce to customers hungry for them across Australia and the world.

The Inland Rail, which finally got the green light from the State and Federal governments last week, is set to transform how freight gets around Queensland and Australia.

Its proponents say Queensland’s 400km section will create an incredible 7200 jobs, and pour $7.2 billion into the state economy.

It will take more than 3500 trucks off Queensland roads and cut hours from passenger journeys.

For the traditionalists, railways are peak infrastructure. They make such good sense, taking goods off expensive-to-build roads and out of competition with car passengers.

For the proudly progressive, the project will create not just commerce but communities, drafted to include targets for local and indigenous employment.

For the engineering buffs, it has been likened to the Snowy River scheme, opening up the landscape.

And for the green-tinted, it will cut freight carbon emissions by 750,000 tonnes a year by taking long-haul trucks off the road.

Hooking up with the line from Melbourne through New South Wales to enter Queensland near Goondiwindi, it will cut across the Condamine and Macintyre floodplains and under the Great Dividing Range at Gowrie near Toowoomba.

The 6km tunnel – high enough to handle double-height containers – will cut almost five hours from the current trip from the top of the range to the bottom.

It will take the line from Gowrie at 493m above sea level 99m lower by the end of the tunnel before hitting 145m above sea level at Helidon.

The 400km Queensland stretch will include 79 bridges, including 11 viaducts to carry the line high and flat across deep valleys in the landscape.

As well as the epic 6km Toowoomba tunnel, there will be two others. An amazing 24 million cubic metres of earthworks will be needed to make the line come true.

South of the border, the rail line has spurred the creating of “inland ports” where products arrive or depart, loaded or unloaded from other train lines or trucks and moved on to either market or customers.

In Parkes, where the east-west line to Perth arrives at the north-south Melbourne-to-Brisbane axis, property prices are rising and jobs numbers are growing.

There are already 1000 service providers attached to work out of Inland Rail’s Brisbane HQ, with $700 million in contracts already signed and being spent. That will only increase when construction on the Queensland section begins, probably in 2022.

But like the arrival of the railroads across the American west, it is not without its challenges.

To farmers who rely on water flows during big rains to top up their dams, cutting across flood plains is a big concern, a worry sharpened by Queensland’s current terrible dry.

And communities that remember the devastation of floods are worried, too, about the line’s possible impacts.

Closer in, residents around urban corridors have raised objections about noise and the goods that will rumble past their properties.

Inland Rail boss Richard Wankmuller – part of the government-owned Australian Rail Track Corporation – said they would listen to concerns.

He said public consultation and the local expertise it could provide along the rail routes would be a big part of planning where the line goes, but pointed out many use existing train corridors.

“When you grow up, when you and generations of your family grew up in a floodplain, you’re pretty convinced you can’t build anything in a floodplain because anything that’s been built before has failed,” Mr Wankmuller said.

“A lot of that stuff was designed way back when under old standards and some of it even before computers.

“So it’s a little bit different situation today but we certainly understand why people are scared.

“And we have the obligation to help them through that and prove to them that this can be done.

“We’re bringing technologies that have been used elsewhere. We’re doing it in a very safe way.

“We’ve set up an international panel to bring people from around the world to help the local population understand this has been done before and we have experts on looking at it to make sure that we’re going to be safe.

“And quite frankly, in a floodplain, you don’t just solve it with technology, you solve it with local knowledge.

“So what people have to say is really important, the photos they have from the ’60s and the ’70s, where we can triangulate that and say yeah, you’re right, look at that water level, because we don’t have measuring devices back then we can calibrate using their data.”

The benefits of getting the line built would be massive, he said.

At $6 billion for the Queensland section alone, it is one of the biggest building projects in the state.

It’s been broken up into four sections to open the way for smaller, local contractors and companies to bid for the work, and built into that is also demands for Indigenous employment.

The list of jobs needed is extensive – tunneling technicians, 3D modellers, geotechnical specialists, engineers, hydrology experts, construction apprentices, electricians, designers, traffic controllers, concreters, drivers, fencers, earthworks machinery operators, security guards, signwriters and an army of hospitality and accommodation providers.

Iconic Australian manufacturing operations at Whyalla and Port Augusta will get a boost, too, providing the steel and welding needed for the mammoth project.

“We have a skills development program where we get out in the region,” Mr Wankmuller said.

“If farmers can operate heavy machinery and they think they can help in the construction we are trying to develop skills’ programs to allow them to do that, get the tickets and certifications they need.

“There’s also a lot of people you don’t have to retrain.

“For electricians we have all kinds of signs that have to be put on these work sites and vehicles, the restaurants, the coffee shops.

“Even tyre repair shops – with so many vehicles the tyre repair businesses are going to boom. It goes beyond what everybody just thinks of as rail.”
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Offline Stillwater

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Re: Inland Rail
« Reply #283 on: December 06, 2019, 04:31:29 PM »
There was some radio coverage recently about a 'secret deal' between state and feds re the Inland rail route, to the effect that coal trains could not be routed from the south, and would have to continue to use the Ipswich line, until passenger rail was built Salisbury to Beaudesert. I was listening to a car radio in busy traffic at the time, but believe that was the gist of what was said.

Offline timh

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Re: Inland Rail
« Reply #284 on: December 06, 2019, 05:17:28 PM »
There was some radio coverage recently about a 'secret deal' between state and feds re the Inland rail route, to the effect that coal trains could not be routed from the south, and would have to continue to use the Ipswich line, until passenger rail was built Salisbury to Beaudesert. I was listening to a car radio in busy traffic at the time, but believe that was the gist of what was said.
More evidence to support that the passenger line will be built at the same time as the new freight line from kagaru to acacia ridge to appease the angry locals

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Offline Stillwater

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Re: Inland Rail
« Reply #285 on: December 06, 2019, 06:44:22 PM »
Found this:

The 54 km proposed corridor would link Salisbury to Beaudesert in Brisbane’s south-west region. The corridor largely aligns with the existing interstate rail line between Salisbury and Kagaru. The initiative is aimed at providing for electrified passenger rail services, with 11 new stations, and additional space for duplication of the existing interstate freight line. A cycleway is also proposed along the corridor.

The initiative is close to the alignment for a section of the proposed east coast high speed rail line (also a corridor protection initiative on the Infrastructure Priority List). Subject to further design development, the initiative could be adapted to provide sufficient space for a high speed rail line.

https://www.infrastructureaustralia.gov.au/map/preserve-corridor-salisbury-beaudesert-rail-connection

Offline timh

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Re: Inland Rail
« Reply #286 on: December 23, 2019, 09:09:18 PM »
https://maps.inlandrail.com.au/h2c#/marker/24651

I made an enquiry on the Inland Rail website about the use of the new freight alignment for future rapid services to Toowoomba. Here's the response I got:

"The Feasibility Design (Reference Design) does not preclude the inclusion of a passenger service, however the decision to run particular passenger services will be a matter for each State Government or for private operators. Inland Rail has been designed as freight infrastructure, however ARTC has a long history of working with State Governments and private operators to improve access and operability of our design and constructed rail infrastructure – throughout our entire network. These collaborative working relationships will continue to be the case for the proposed Inland Rail alignment."

Bit of a nothing response but hey it's a response

Offline SABB

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Re: Inland Rail
« Reply #287 on: December 23, 2019, 09:48:20 PM »
What it means is that ARTC has designed the alignment and grade for freight speeds. If the govt wants to run fast rail, then ARTC will want the govt/TMR to kick in some funds for the redesign and the higher construction costs. The same thing happened in the early 2000s when the Inland Rail alignment (Toowoomba to Gatton) was being looked at. Then the freight speed was 80kph and if faster passenger services were needed, Beattie was required to put money in.   By the way, at that time the cost estimate was $1.2B for Melbourne to Brisbane with the Toowoomba to Gatton section being $440M.

Online ozbob

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Re: Inland Rail
« Reply #288 on: January 16, 2020, 09:41:16 AM »
https://twitter.com/Inland_Rail/status/1217589109411074048
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Re: Inland Rail
« Reply #289 on: January 30, 2020, 12:56:53 PM »
Rail Express --> ARTC CEO says they’re could be a “fatal flaw” with Inland Rail

Quote
John Fullerton, Australian Rail Track Corporation CEO, said “we understand we need to improve” at a senate inquiry hearing of the management of the Inland Rail project, held on January 30 in Brisbane.

“The current route is not locked in,” Fullerton said.

One senator called out “Mr Fullerton, there are pitchforks waiting for you,” as the CEO addressed “white hot anger” concerns of the proposed inland rail route from QLD senators.

Fullerton said the potential “fatal flaw” is floods.

The ability to construct a public safety model that aligns with the proposed Inland Rail route through the McIntyre floodplain is the main area of concern, Fullerton stated in the hearing.

“There are a number of areas of concern that we’re looking at,” he said.

“We’ve finished about 90 per cent of the reference design phase and we’re modifying the reference design.”

Fullerton said ARTC’s main priority is investigating floodplains and “increasing transparency”.

“I get people are scared, and it’s our obligation to [construct] something that is safe.

“This is not just an ARTC program, that is a community program and there is no way we can be successful without community, council, and private sectors.”

Fullerton’s hearing follows criticism that the major freight rail corridor will go through one of Australia’s largest floodplains, raised from the rural Senate Committee meeting in Millmerran on Wednesday evening.

Goondiwindi Mayor Graeme Scheu said the regional council is an advocate for the project, but object ARTC’s decision-making process.

Scheu stated to the committee that the decision to announce D1 as the preferred design option “came as a major surprise to everyone in our region”.

“From the minute D1 was announced, it has been the opinion of Goondiwindi Regional Council that if the route had to cross the floodplain (primarily to appease the time restraints), then the only acceptable solution would be an elevated bridge from the Queensland side to Wearne on the NSW side,” he said.

“I must reaffirm that Goondiwindi Regional Council is supportive of the Inland Rail Project and have been for many years but the decision making process of ARTC leaves a lot to be desired.”

Goondiwindi Regional Council stated they are advocating to overturn the D1 route design option and “believes the decision should be over turned to the alternative option of A”.

“The route directly crosses the floodplain, minimising the flood potential once the Whalan escape route is fully addressed.

“Community consultation results and opinion will support Option A over D1.”

Fullerton said that “this is a complicated project that is important to people,” and recognises that engagement in the past “wasn’t up to speed”.

“We are looking where we have made the right decision or where a different decision should be made.

“There is government procedures in everything we do, we meet with the minister’s department for monthly and quarterly reporting to look at each issue.”

The Inland Rail route will be about 1,700km in length across Queensland, NSW, and Victoria and is scheduled to be completed by 2025.
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Online ozbob

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Re: Inland Rail
« Reply #290 on: January 31, 2020, 02:28:04 PM »
Rail Express --> Calls for Gladstone to be apart of the Inland Rail route

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Gladstone Region Mayor Matt Burnett is calling on the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) and state and federal governments to review and invest in connecting the Inland Rail to the Port of Gladstone.

Gladstone Regional Council has provided its submission to the Senate Inquiry into the management of the Inland Rail Project by the ARTC and the Commonwealth government.

Burnett told the senators via teleconference at the hearing in Brisbane on Thursday that extending inland rail to the Port of Gladstone was a “strategic priority”.

Burnett said it doesn’t have to be “Gladstone vs Brisbane,” because the route alignment “can be both, so there is no reason it can’t be both”.

“The Australian rail network is an important network, so why not include central Queensland as well,” he said.

“The Port of Brisbane has issues with capacity, costs, and efficiencies, which I believe strengthens our case for the line to come to the Port of Gladstone. The Toowoomba to Brisbane project is reported at an estimate of $6.7 billion, alternatively the route from Toowoomba to Gladstone is projected at $1.2 to $2.7 billion.”

The Gladstone mayor said “there is no doubt Brisbane is a distribution centre” but it’s “heavily congested”.

“Our port has the capacity to grow to more than 300 million tonnes per annum which is more than double the import and export tonnage currently experienced.”

Burnett said The Gladstone Regional Council is calling on the Australian government to finalise and release the study into the extension of the Inland Rail to the Port of Gladstone.

“The Australian Government should work to align with regional councils and other key stakeholders to invest in the Inland Rail extension to the Port of Gladstone to advance the case for this important piece of regional enabling infrastructure,” he said.
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Re: Inland Rail
« Reply #291 on: February 17, 2020, 12:29:12 PM »
https://twitter.com/ozbob13/status/1229231139161640962
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Re: Inland Rail
« Reply #292 on: February 18, 2020, 05:52:12 PM »
Brisbanetimes --> Farmers protest flood risk of $10b Melbourne-Brisbane rail project

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A $10 billion rail project from Melbourne to Brisbane will devastate Queensland communities if it is built on a notorious flood plain, farmers say.

About 200 residents from the Darling Downs made the three-hour trip to Brisbane on Tuesday, demanding the government listen to their concerns about the Inland Rail Project being constructed over the Condamine flood plain.

The protest was organised by the Millmerran Rail Group - a local advocacy group from Millmerran - who are fearful of the proposed rail location.

Chairman Wes Judd said residents in the area were not being listened to by the federal government.

"We know there are fatal issues and flaws with the assessments which have been done and they need to be corrected," Mr Judd said.

"We want to make sure both sides in the Parliament know and understand the thoughts and the wish of these people."

The proposed route requires parts of the rail to be built on a levy bank with about 500 culverts to let flood water pass.

Farmers are concerned these culverts will be blocked by stubble - debris on farmland - resulting in water building up and completely submerging large areas of the Condamine flood plain.

Jason Mundt is a fifth-generation farmer from Millmerran, and said his late father witnessed their property flooded 38 times in his life.

Mr Mundt said all but a few square metres of his 930-hectare property went underwater during the 2010-11 flood season, and feared the rail would make floods worse because the water would not continue to flow down stream.

"We are basically an inland sea once a normal flood hits," he said.

"There will be more devastation with regards to infrastructure.

"It makes no sense to put a (rail line) across that area."

Federal opposition leader Anthony Albanese met with the rural land and business owners saying he would fight with them to change the rail's proposed route.

Mr Albanese received a hero's welcome in Brisbane on Tuesday when he addressed the crowd and said he did not support the rail across the flood plain.

"At the moment it simply is going through the wrong route," he said.

"You don't build railway lines where they're are going flooded out and where the lines are going to be cut."
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Offline verbatim9

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Re: Inland Rail
« Reply #293 on: March 02, 2020, 01:59:32 PM »
Railexpress.com.au---> Additional $44m investment to fast track Lockyer Valley Inland Rail

Quote
The Australian federal government has invested an extra $44 million to the Inland Rail II Program (II Program) to fast track improvements.

The Lockyer Valley Inland Rail connection is one of four projects selected to be fast tracked part of the II Program.

The additional investment will assess the costs and benefits of various additional connections to the national freight rail network.

This will include investigating ways to build industry and supply chain resilience and improve market access for farmers and manufacturers through enhanced connection to Inland Rail.

Michael McCormack, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development said the impacts of fire and drought in the Lockyer region mandated an investigation of possible expansion of the network

“Farmers and producers need to know they have access to a reliable, interconnected, national freight network that will deliver their produce to markets when and where it is needed.

McCormack said the Lockyer Valley, located between Ipswich and Toowoomba in South East Queensland, is traditionally one of Australia’s strongest horticulture producing regions and under the II Program, strategic business cases will identify opportunities to support more productive rail-based supply chains at regional centres and help build capacity on key country rail lines.

Mathias Cormann, Minister for Finance said he is very happy the Lockyer Valley component under the Infrastructure Investment Program would be fast tracked.

“Better freight connectivity and efficiency helps drive stronger economic growth and will maximise the returns for our national productivity which we know Inland Rail will deliver,” Cormann said.

“Transport costs are a significant overhead for Australian businesses which inevitably are then passed on to consumers. By maximising the community and business connections to Inland Rail, our investments to improve the interface with existing infrastructure ensures more people can enjoy high quality competitively priced and locally grown produce.”

Mark Coulton, Minister for Regional Health, Regional Communities and Local Government said enhancing supply chain efficiencies means more money stays in the pockets of local producers, building more resilient communities and industries.

“Inland Rail provides the opportunities for cost savings, with the fast and reliable freight transport option placing our products on supermarket shelves across Australia and beyond our shores,” Coulton said.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2020, 02:35:50 PM by ozbob »

Online ozbob

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Re: Inland Rail
« Reply #294 on: March 11, 2020, 01:41:48 PM »
https://twitter.com/SteveAustinABC/status/1237582390119170049
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Online ozbob

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Re: Inland Rail
« Reply #295 on: March 13, 2020, 12:40:29 PM »
In Queensland --> Plans don't hold water as clouds hang over $10bn inland rail project

Quote
The $10 billion Inland Rail project remains under a cloud, with key political stakeholders refusing to endorse the chosen route through southern Queensland despite crisis talks this week.

Australian Rail Track Corporation Inland Rail chief executive Richard Wankmuller had sought to convince the project’s critics that the border to Gowrie corridor, across the Condamine floodplain, was fine.

“We have the utmost confidence in our flood modelling, which has been conducted, reviewed and verified separately by the country’s and Queensland’s leading hydrology experts,” Wankmuller said.

“Our confidence comes from the fact that five different companies – all experts in their field, who’ve done this many times before, have confirmed that this flood modelling is comprehensive, meets industry standards and is fit for purpose.

“The science tells us there is no premise to change the route based on flood modelling and the economics tells us that this route was the most viable, cost effective option.”

But despite the Federal Government being a proponent of the project, and having responsibility for the ARTC, Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack refused to declare his position on the route this week.

The Deputy Nationals leader, local MP and Agriculture Minister David Littleproud, remained dissatisfied – even after the ARTC held talks with stakeholders and critics in Sydney.

“I continue to have serious concerns about ARTC’s hydrological studies that underpin their engineering solution,” Littleproud said.

“There has also been inadequate consultation with the community, and therefore there is little confidence that ARTC can deliver a proper engineering solution.”

Queensland’s Transport and Main Roads Minister, Mark Bailey, said it was incumbent on the Morrison Government to “fix any issues with this project before it proceeds”.

Bailey acknowledged some people living or working near the proposed corridor have raised concerns including impacts on operating farms,  loss of agricultural land, floodplain issues and noise.

“That’s why as part of the Inland Rail Bi-Lateral Agreement negotiated by the Palaszczuk government, we’ve insisted that the needs of Queensland communities along the proposed railway are addressed,” he said.

“This included agreement that an independent panel will review ARTC’s flood plain modelling.

“My department is treating this as a priority and is currently finalising arrangements with the (appropriate) federal department for the operation of this panel of independent experts.”

The review will be in addition to any consideration undertaken as part of an environmental impact statement.

By contrast, the Palaszczuk government’s Cross River Rail project has a finalised route, largely underground, and is tipped to cost $5.4 billion, however there are tensions with contractors and unions.
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Re: Inland Rail
« Reply #296 on: March 16, 2020, 02:54:44 PM »
Rail Express --> Inland Rail to boost regional Australia by $13.3b

Quote
Regional communities across Australia are set to benefit from $13.3 billion in gross regional product due to the Inland Rail project.

According to an eight month study by EY, Inland Rail can add up to $13 billion in today’s terms to the value of goods and services produced over its first 50 years of operation.

The report was undertaken throughout 2019 and released by the Deputy Prime Minister in March 2020. The report builds on the projected 16,000 jobs and $16 billion boost to the national economy outlined in the 2015 Inland Rail Business Case.

Michael McCormack, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development said Inland Rail is going to draw industry to regional Australia where the enhanced freight rail network will connect companies and consumers both domestically and internationally

“What the EY report is assessing is the additional benefit to communities from the opportunities that arise for local businesses and people from the completion of Inland Rail,” he said.

“For example, it might be a cereal manufacturer whose freight costs drop by 30 per cent allowing the employment of additional staff, or it might be the expansion of regional processing that takes advantage of Inland Rail’s lower cost and greater capacity and connectivity.”

EY looked at case studies, international examples, and local knowledge to determine the potential for investment, employment and growth along, and beyond, the alignment.

“The benefits of this project are going to be felt across generations. Right now, young people from regional areas are directly benefiting from working on Inland Rail’s construction including the 656 locals who have worked on the project in the Parkes region and the more than $75 million spent with local businesses,” he said.

“Inland Rail gives these communities new ways to grow and rebuild with better connections to interstate and international markets, new jobs and a stronger case for attracting public and private investment,” he said.

Mathias Cormann, Finance Minister said the first wave of developments are taking shape.

“We are very confident that many other regional towns in and around the Inland Rail corridor will secure further significant investment, development and job creation opportunities for their towns on the back of this exciting project,” Cormann said.

The Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communication said in a statement that this work was tested with industry, governments, and communities with the study team heading to Narrabri, Toowoomba, Wagga Wagga, and Wodonga to get people’s views.

That input shaped the forecasting and tested the study’s early findings.

“We thank the communities, industry groups and local government who helped shape this work with local data and evidence,” the department stated.

The report followed another week of speculation on the impact of flooding on the regional rail link’s route via the Condamine floodplain. Shadow Member for Infrastructure, Transport, and Regional Development Catherine King said that the government needs to consider hydrological modelling commissioned by farmers close to the alignment.

The Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) released a statement standing by its own modelling, which it said showed that the selected route is the right one.

“The science tells us there is no premise to change the route based on flood modelling and the economics tells us that this route was the most viable, cost effective option,” said ARTC Inland Rail chief executive Richard Wankmuller.

Local concerns have been incorporated into the design of the route, said Wankmuller.

“It’s important governments and the community have confidence in the engineering and science that allows countries like Australia to deliver world-class infrastructure.”

As part of the deal signed between the federal and Queensland governments which gave the Border to Gowrie section the go-ahead, an international review panel will review the floodplain modelling.
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Re: Inland Rail
« Reply #297 on: March 17, 2020, 12:40:47 AM »
Couriermail --> Inland Rail $3 billion boost to regional QLD

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THE inland rail’s economic boost to regional Queensland could top $3 billion over its first 50 years and create thousands of extra jobs nationally, according to a new report.

The report by Ernst & Young looked at potential business investment that could spring up along the planned 1700km freight line, which will link ports in Brisbane and Melbourne.

It found the railway could generate up to $13.3 billion of extra gross regional product across Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria during its first five decades of operation.

Deputy Prime Minister, Infrastructure and Regional Development Minister Michael McCormack said the report showed the potential for expanded business investment once the project was completed would be a “massive boost” for regional Australia.

“These investments could support an additional 14,000-16,000 job-years in its first decade of operation – that’s 1,600 people working full time for 10 years thanks to inland rail,” he said.

“With inland rail, our regional communities are primed to take advantage of the manufacturing, packing facilities, meat processing plants, regional airports and distribution centres that will establish and expand around the rail line.”

The study, commissioned by the Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications Department, looked at local government areas within 100km of the proposed route through Queensland from Brisbane to Goondiwindi.

Potential business opportunities identified in Queensland included new grain storage facilities, expanded logistics and cotton handling hubs, food processing and mining support.

It found the total boost to Queensland’s gross regional product would be up to $3.1 billion over the first 50 years of operation.

Nearly 600 full-time jobs were estimated to be created in Queensland during the first decade of operating, primarily driven by potential supply chain efficiencies.
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Re: Inland Rail
« Reply #298 on: March 18, 2020, 11:55:34 AM »
Rail Express --> Inland Rail sparks discussions for rail-road-air intermodal hub in Toowoomba

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Pacific National and Wagner Corporation have entered into detailed discussions for a major logistics hub at Wellcamp Business Park, in Toowoomba.

The announcement is tangible evidence of the $13.3 billion in benefits that the federal government estimates Inland Rail will bring to regional communities along the alignment.

The two companies are looking to build a 250ha logistics hub at the site next to the Toowoomba Wellcamp Airport, said Pacific National CEO, Dean Dalla Valle.

“The proposed 250-hectare Wellcamp Logistics Hub also has frontage to the future Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail project, allowing extensive future intermodal operations for freight to be transferred between trains, planes and trucks,” he said.

The future Wellcamp Logistics Hub would include 2.7km of frontage to the rail corridor, allowing for 1,800m long freight trains to operate. Daily cargo jet flights operate from a fully licensed and bonded international air cargo terminal next door, and the site has the potential to process up to 350,000 shipping containers by 2030, and up to half a million by 2040.

The wider Darling Down region is not only part of the South-East Queensland food bowl, but a hub for manufacturing and resources industry. The idea for an intermodal terminal in here was sparked by another intermodal terminal connected to the Inland Rail line, said John Wagner, non-executive chairman of Wagner Corporation.

“When Wagner Corporation attended the October 2019 opening of Pacific National’s logistics terminal in Parkes – also located on the Inland Rail alignment – it gave us an exciting picture of what could be achieved with future rail freight services at Wellcamp,” he said.

Dalla Valle highlighted that the benefits would extend beyond the industry to societal and environmental outcomes.

“Integrated with Inland Rail, a future Wellcamp Logistics Hub would help reduce road accidents and fatalities, traffic congestion, vehicle emissions, and road ‘wear and tear’,” he said.

“Picture this – at a minimum, an 1,800-metre-long freight train hauling shipping containers is equivalent to removing 140 B-double return truck trips from our roads.”

Toowoomba has been a centre for discussions about the future of rail in South East Queensland, with the Inland Rail agreement signed there, and fast passenger rail options being explored.
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Re: Inland Rail
« Reply #299 on: April 07, 2020, 11:20:29 AM »
https://twitter.com/Inland_Rail/status/1247332497022570497
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Re: Inland Rail
« Reply #300 on: April 17, 2020, 11:34:49 AM »
https://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/documents/tableOffice/questionsAnswers/2020/323-2020.pdf

Question on Notice
No. 323

Asked on Tuesday 17 March 2020

MR J LISTER ASKED MINISTER FOR TRANSPORT AND MAIN ROADS (HON M BAILEY)

QUESTION:

With reference to the bilateral agreement on inland rail between the Queensland and Australian
Governments on 29 November 2019—

Will the minister advise (a) what role does the Queensland Government have in the selection of
the route for the New South Wales border to Gowrie section of the Inland Rail project, (b) what is
the Queensland Government's position on the Condamine River floodplain route proposed by the
Australian Rail Track Corporation and (c) as a signatory to the bilateral agreement what efforts
has the Minister taken to satisfy himself that the Australian Rail Track Corporation route selection
processes, including its flood modelling, is accurate?

ANSWER:

I thank the Member for Southern Downs for the question.

As the Member is aware, it is the Member's party—via the Liberal-National Federal Government—
that is driving the Inland Rail Project. The Member will also be aware that the Australian Rail
Track Corporation (ARTC) is leading the planning and development of the Inland Rail Project on
behalf of the Liberal-National Federal Government. The ARTC is chaired by a former LiberalNational Federal Deputy Prime Minister and Leader of the Nationals, the Honourable Warren
Truss AC.

I would encourage the Member to reach out to the Member’s Liberal-National colleagues at the
Federal level to discuss these issues and their management of ARTC.
The Palaszczuk Government negotiated the Inland Rail Bi-lateral Agreement to protect
Queensland’s interests. In relation to the proposed corridor alignment of Inland Rail in
Queensland, ARTC is refining its preferred corridor through the Environmental Impact Statement
(EIS) processes under the provisions of the State Development and Public Works Organisation
Act 1971. This process is ongoing with stakeholder, landowner and public consultation a
legislated requirement.

The Inland Rail Bi-lateral Agreement—negotiated by the Palaszczuk Government—includes
protections to ensure the needs of Queensland communities along the proposed railway are
addressed, including:

• a more meaningful and rigorous consultation process, which includes a requirement for ARTC
to proactively resolve issues affecting land holders, greater focus on floodplain modelling and
design solutions
• establishment of a panel of independent experts to advise and make recommendations to the
Queensland and Australian governments on floodplain modelling and related issues.

The panel is not only considering the issues of the Condamine River floodplain, but the whole
ARTC alignment in Queensland, which includes the Macintyre River and the Lockyer Valley.
The ARTC has been working with communities to determine and refine the route from the New
South Wales border to Gowrie near Toowoomba since before the release of the 2015 Inland Rail
Business Case, and this work is ongoing through the EIS process.

In relation to the Condamine River floodplain route, the Palaszczuk Government will ensure
ARTC complies with all legislative and policy requirements, especially those in relation to
community and environmental impact issues along the Inland Rail alignment. Further details are
available on the Inland Rail website at www.inlandrail.artc.com.au/B2G.

The Palaszczuk Government is committed to ensuring Queensland achieves the best outcome
from the project, and that the Liberal National Federal Government considers and responds
appropriately to issues raised by Queenslanders.
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Re: Inland Rail
« Reply #301 on: April 22, 2020, 09:54:56 AM »
https://twitter.com/Inland_Rail/status/1252745508252028928
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Re: Inland Rail
« Reply #302 on: May 25, 2020, 03:46:31 PM »
Couriermail --> QLD Inland Rail project: New route considered after landowner pressure

Quote
THE Federal Government has relented to years of pressure from landowners and will consider a new route for the Inland Rail across Queensland’s Condamine River floodplain.

A spokeswoman for Deputy Prime Minister and Transport and Infrastructure Minister Michael McCormack confirmed the government would review an alternative route for one of the most contentious sections of the $10 billion project.

Millmerran Rail Group chairman Wes Judd said it was a “major concession” from the government following years of warnings from landowners that the current path would trap floodwaters in the network of bridges, banks and culverts.

“We do need to ensure we have the detailed examination of the alternative route for all stakeholders,” Mr Judd said.

“This is not a desktop, tick and flick job. It needs rigour and the independent expert panel should be charged with looking at the alternative route as well as the flawed route that Australian Rail Track Corporation has been insisting upon.”

He said the alternative “state forestry route” travelled west of Millmerran on the Darling Downs and would continue to link with Gowrie and ensure Inland Rail connected with the Wellcamp Airport.

Local Federal MP and Agriculture Minister David Littleproud has backed the landowners and called for the route to be changed.

“We are going headlong into a long-term legal battle through the courts that will hold up Inland Rail,” he said.
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Re: Inland Rail
« Reply #303 on: May 26, 2020, 01:01:36 AM »
Couriermail --> Call for Inland Rail review to include southern suburbs

Quote
A REVIEW of the controversial Inland rail route through southeastern Queensland will not include highly-populated suburbs south of Brisbane.

The federal government bowed to pressure from farmers and ordered the review which focuses on the track as it crosses the Condamine River floodplain.

The review, called for by Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack does not include suburbs in Logan such as Hillcrest, Forestdale and also parts of Algester.

But an Inland Rail Action Group, backed by some Logan residents whose properties will be affected by the freight line, want the audit to include the southside suburbs and investigate an alternative route.

Inland Rail Action Group member and the ARTC Community Consultative Committee Suz Corbett said an independent inquiry was required and not a government-based inquiry.

“Michael McCormack needs an independent review of the whole route to include the section of track from Kagaru to Acacia Ridge and Bromelton,” she said.

“It is obvious that bringing trains through our suburbs is not an appropriate route when there are alternatives that are less invasive.

“The ARTC should stop all works while they are investigating and engineering these routes until completion of the review as the result may be superseded.

“Until we receive the final results, it is considered a waste of taxpayers’ money and gives us no confidence if they continue at this point.”

The ARTC has said it was not responsible for determining the route of the Inland Rail, which was a federal government decision.

It also said in March the project timeline was for construction to begin in Queensland in 2021.

It said findings of the Inland Rail Gladstone Link Prefeasibility Study by the federal government indicated that linking Inland Rail to the Port of Gladstone was not economically viable based on forecast market demand.

“However, should there be improved market demand in the future, the government is willing to consider revisiting the case for a Gladstone link to inland Rail,” an Inland Rail spokesman said in March.

“The Deputy Prime Minister has asked ARTC to review the Forestry Route via Cecil Plains against the current border to Gowrie project route to assess its ability to meet the business case requirements.

“We have the utmost confidence in our flood modelling on the B2G section of Inland Rail.”
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Re: Inland Rail
« Reply #304 on: May 26, 2020, 09:11:13 AM »
Couriermail --> Call for Inland Rail review to include southern suburbs

Quote
A REVIEW of the controversial Inland rail route through southeastern Queensland will not include highly-populated suburbs south of Brisbane.

The federal government bowed to pressure from farmers and ordered the review which focuses on the track as it crosses the Condamine River floodplain.

The review, called for by Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack does not include suburbs in Logan such as Hillcrest, Forestdale and also parts of Algester.

But an Inland Rail Action Group, backed by some Logan residents whose properties will be affected by the freight line, want the audit to include the southside suburbs and investigate an alternative route.

Inland Rail Action Group member and the ARTC Community Consultative Committee Suz Corbett said an independent inquiry was required and not a government-based inquiry.

“Michael McCormack needs an independent review of the whole route to include the section of track from Kagaru to Acacia Ridge and Bromelton,” she said.

“It is obvious that bringing trains through our suburbs is not an appropriate route when there are alternatives that are less invasive.

“The ARTC should stop all works while they are investigating and engineering these routes until completion of the review as the result may be superseded.

“Until we receive the final results, it is considered a waste of taxpayers’ money and gives us no confidence if they continue at this point.”

The ARTC has said it was not responsible for determining the route of the Inland Rail, which was a federal government decision.

It also said in March the project timeline was for construction to begin in Queensland in 2021.

It said findings of the Inland Rail Gladstone Link Prefeasibility Study by the federal government indicated that linking Inland Rail to the Port of Gladstone was not economically viable based on forecast market demand.

“However, should there be improved market demand in the future, the government is willing to consider revisiting the case for a Gladstone link to inland Rail,” an Inland Rail spokesman said in March.

“The Deputy Prime Minister has asked ARTC to review the Forestry Route via Cecil Plains against the current border to Gowrie project route to assess its ability to meet the business case requirements.

“We have the utmost confidence in our flood modelling on the B2G section of Inland Rail.”

Honestly I'm getting pretty tired of this argument (on both sides).

From the point of view of the freight rail companies, I get that Inland Rail through the dual guage alignment through the southern suburbs is pretty essential. And I understand that putting veneer on the coal is supposed to prevent dust.

From the point of view of the residents, I get that freight trains running past your house sucks pretty bad.

BUT

Can they not just come to some compromise? Just cover the coal trains??? It seriously cannot be that difficult to just put a lid on the box. I can't see any reason why making a box with a lid for a train carriage would suddenly make coal travel by rail economically unfeasible. I dunno why Inland Rail keeps that party line of "oh we cover it with veneer its fine" when clearly that doesn't satisfy the residents. If they don't want this thing to get politically destroyed they really need to make some compromises.

And for the residents, it is a pretty NIMBY attitude to have. Their argument is always "yeah we get we need a new freight line, but can't it just be somewhere else?" Freight trains already travel throughout much of the network.

Anyway this bickering is just really bugging me. I just foresee it turning into a political shitstorm.

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Re: Inland Rail
« Reply #305 on: May 26, 2020, 03:40:54 PM »
The only thing that seems like a legitimate complaint to me is that the passing loops between Kagaru and Acacia Ridge seem to concentrate train dwells near housing. 

We really need to be working on a dedicated connection from Larapinta to the POB.  That way the busiest traffic (the coal) won't be going anywhere near the electric network, which means not only will the locals in Parkinson be happy but there'll be virtually no impact on passenger services from traffic coming from west of Rosewood other than the odd diversion or Dinmore cattle train.
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Re: Inland Rail
« Reply #306 on: May 29, 2020, 12:14:47 PM »
https://twitter.com/inframagoz/status/1266185074078175233
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Re: Inland Rail
« Reply #307 on: May 30, 2020, 11:28:34 PM »
Couriermail --> Call for Inland Rail review to include southern suburbs

Quote
A REVIEW of the controversial Inland rail route through southeastern Queensland will not include highly-populated suburbs south of Brisbane.

The federal government bowed to pressure from farmers and ordered the review which focuses on the track as it crosses the Condamine River floodplain.

The review, called for by Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack does not include suburbs in Logan such as Hillcrest, Forestdale and also parts of Algester.

But an Inland Rail Action Group, backed by some Logan residents whose properties will be affected by the freight line, want the audit to include the southside suburbs and investigate an alternative route.

Inland Rail Action Group member and the ARTC Community Consultative Committee Suz Corbett said an independent inquiry was required and not a government-based inquiry.

“Michael McCormack needs an independent review of the whole route to include the section of track from Kagaru to Acacia Ridge and Bromelton,” she said.

“It is obvious that bringing trains through our suburbs is not an appropriate route when there are alternatives that are less invasive.

“The ARTC should stop all works while they are investigating and engineering these routes until completion of the review as the result may be superseded.

“Until we receive the final results, it is considered a waste of taxpayers’ money and gives us no confidence if they continue at this point.”

The ARTC has said it was not responsible for determining the route of the Inland Rail, which was a federal government decision.

It also said in March the project timeline was for construction to begin in Queensland in 2021.

It said findings of the Inland Rail Gladstone Link Prefeasibility Study by the federal government indicated that linking Inland Rail to the Port of Gladstone was not economically viable based on forecast market demand.

“However, should there be improved market demand in the future, the government is willing to consider revisiting the case for a Gladstone link to inland Rail,” an Inland Rail spokesman said in March.

“The Deputy Prime Minister has asked ARTC to review the Forestry Route via Cecil Plains against the current border to Gowrie project route to assess its ability to meet the business case requirements.

“We have the utmost confidence in our flood modelling on the B2G section of Inland Rail.”

Honestly I'm getting pretty tired of this argument (on both sides).

From the point of view of the freight rail companies, I get that Inland Rail through the dual guage alignment through the southern suburbs is pretty essential. And I understand that putting veneer on the coal is supposed to prevent dust.

From the point of view of the residents, I get that freight trains running past your house sucks pretty bad.

BUT

Can they not just come to some compromise? Just cover the coal trains??? It seriously cannot be that difficult to just put a lid on the box. I can't see any reason why making a box with a lid for a train carriage would suddenly make coal travel by rail economically unfeasible. I dunno why Inland Rail keeps that party line of "oh we cover it with veneer its fine" when clearly that doesn't satisfy the residents. If they don't want this thing to get politically destroyed they really need to make some compromises.

And for the residents, it is a pretty NIMBY attitude to have. Their argument is always "yeah we get we need a new freight line, but can't it just be somewhere else?" Freight trains already travel throughout much of the network.

Anyway this bickering is just really bugging me. I just foresee it turning into a political shitstorm.


I think anyone who lives within a block or two of a busy rail line need to ask themselves, why did they buy there, the rail has been operating for over 130 years so you can't argue it's a recent thing, the freight task may have increased but that's to be expected.

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Re: Inland Rail
« Reply #308 on: June 03, 2020, 06:52:11 AM »
https://twitter.com/abcbrisbane/status/1267921177327988737
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Re: Inland Rail
« Reply #309 on: June 17, 2020, 01:09:59 AM »
https://twitter.com/ozbob13/status/1272909033532465153
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Re: Inland Rail
« Reply #310 on: June 18, 2020, 01:44:54 AM »
Couriermail Quest --> Defiant attack as fears of noise, dust, derailment and property price slump fuel letter


An excerpt from Cr Darren Power’s letter

Quote
A local government has launched a defiant attack on the federal government’s controversial inland rail, firing off a heated letter to one of the country’s highest levels of government.

Logan City Council mayor Darren Power wrote to deputy prime minister Micheal McCormack begging for the Inland Rail route to be changed so it did not affect Logan’s southwestern suburbs.

The letter was sent after Cr Power slammed an Australian Rail Track Corporation briefing last week for failing to answer questions about how the freight venture would affect residents.

That briefing told councillors that the Inland Rail route was unlikely to change despite vehement opposition from Logan and that there was a risk of derailments on the track.

Australian Rail Track Corporation project manager Rob McNamara was subjected to a barrage of questions about the line, which will be built on existing track running through Greenbank, Forestdale, Hillcrest, Flagstone and Algester.

Mr McNamara refused to say if the project was “too far gone to change the route” but suggested it was unlikely after the federal government gave the corporation the alignment for the track.

He came under further fire after admitting that derailments were “far too frequent”.

He was commenting after he heard of residents’ concerns about the number of freight trains increasing from eight a day to 45 a day in 2040 when the project was completed.

Cr Power said his council was fiercely united in its opposition to the freight route through Logan and called for answers about noise, dust, vibration and the use of coal trains on the existing track.

He said the delegation withheld details about any test results carried out on noise and vibration and the location of noise barriers.

“The damage that will be done to those residents on the route will be severely affected and realistically I can’t see how this is going to continue because this would have to be the most populated area of the route.”

Logan lodged a submission to a Senate inquiry into the management of the Inland Rail project by the Australian Rail Track Corporation and the Commonwealth Government in November.

Residents Stan and Suz Corbett, whose Forestdale home is close to the track, said the ARTC was deliberately withholding information.

They said residents needed input as the freight line would adversely affect property prices.

The couple, who have been campaigning against the route through Logan since 2017, also wrote to Mr McCormack this week, complaining about the lack of data released about testing.

“ARTC is not providing suitable answers to serious questions,” Mrs Corbett said.

“I have been on the ARTC Community Consultative Committee for almost two years and they are still testing along the corridor but no amount of testing or mitigation will stop the noise, vibration or diesel fumes.”

Residents were still waiting to find out if the Co-ordinator-General’s Department will allow the project to be co-ordinated through the state department, a move which would require a comprehensive environmental impact assessment.

Mrs Corbett said it would also allow residents a say in the terms of reference for any environmental impact statement.
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Re: Inland Rail
« Reply #311 on: June 18, 2020, 01:45:26 AM »
^ guess 1000s of B-troubles is a better alternative for Logan ....
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Re: Inland Rail
« Reply #312 on: June 18, 2020, 06:59:16 AM »
Considering the track is already there and being used on a daily basis, I don't really think they have a leg to stand on. I don't believe there will be any meaningful track changes through there due to Inland Rail. Logan Council can go and take their NIMBYism for a long walk..

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Re: Inland Rail
« Reply #313 on: June 18, 2020, 07:52:47 AM »
6 or 8 lane freeway? Where are the police to clear the protesters!!! 

Rail line with far greater safety record?  Stop!! This needs to be thought through or studied until forgotten!!

This shows just how out of touch our local
Govts are with modern city planning!!!
« Last Edit: June 18, 2020, 07:58:24 AM by Jonno »

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Re: Inland Rail
« Reply #314 on: June 22, 2020, 01:10:21 AM »
Brisbanetimes --> Queenslanders question impact of proposed rail tunnels on SEQ floods

Quote
Fast-tracking the $9.3 billion Inland Rail project in Queensland could worsen flood risks in the Lockyer Valley near flood-devastated Grantham, according to the local council.

Earlier this week, the federal government announced it would streamline approval processes for 15 infrastructure projects, including the long-planned Inland Rail project from Melbourne to Brisbane, to boost jobs after the COVID-19 pandemic.

The project is being co-ordinated by the Australian Rail Track Corporation.

Queensland's Co-ordinator General is reviewing the impacts of the five Queensland sections of the proposed route, while Scenic Rim, Logan and Lockyer Valley council submissions to a Senate Inquiry into the project highlight many problems previously not made public.

There is broad community concerns in all five Queensland sections from the border to Acacia Ridge, including three new billion-dollar tunnels.

These include a 1.1-kilometre tunnel to be dug in part of the flood-prone, Lockyer Valley north of Grantham, a second 1.1-kilometre tunnel through the Teviot Range near Flinders Peak, and a 6.4-kilometre tunnel from Gowrie, near Toowoomba toward Helidon.

Queensland's Environment Department is now examining the proposed rail route in detail after learning the route is close to Queensland new Koala Priority Areas between Grandchester and Willowbank, which prevent land clearing.

Lockyer Valley Regional Council told a 2020 Senate Inquiry it had doubts about the project's flood modelling and the project benefits.

“Following the catastrophic floods of 2011 and 2013, and two Commissions of Inquiry, communities in the Lockyer Valley remain extremely sensitive to the contribution railways may have to the impacts of flood events,” the regional council says.

“This issue has been raised consistently throughout the design process to date. It remains of fundamental importance to the region."

The council also asked why Queensland Rail had such a small role in the planning.

“Clearly this is unsatisfactory when the intention for much of the alignment is to share corridor with that railway manager," their submission reads.

The1800-kilometre Inland Rail link proposes to get freight by inland rail between Melbourne and Brisbane within 24 hours, and to reduce national freight costs by $10 a tonne.

It estimates it will create 16,000 jobs and inject more than $16 billion into the Australian economy.

At Millmerran, south-west of Toowoomba, some farmers argue the route through black soil flood plains from the Condamine River is simply wrong, and new modeling was ordered this month by federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud.

A spokeswoman for Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack said the project would begin to involve more Queensland government input.

“There will be no relaxation of any environmental safeguards under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act nor the requirements to consult with the community," she said.

“The Commonwealth will work closely with its state counterparts and the proponents of the projects establishing joint teams to ensure processes are fast-tracked.

"Further, the community will have a further opportunity to comment on Inland Rail through the environmental assessment processes.”

The five Queensland sections each have a local co-ordination committee overseeing issues in their area.

Anne Page from the Albert and Logan Community Consultation Committee is on the Kagaru to Acacia Ridge Community Consultative Committee, which monitors the most eastern section.

Ms Page questioned the impact of the new rail corridor on the known koala habitat in the section from Calvert (near Grandchester) to Kagaru (south of Peak Crossing).

“In that section, there is koala habitat and also in the section near Greenbank and to Acacia Ridge,” Ms Page said.

“It will have an impact on the species there and that includes koalas as well.”

Ms Page said another conservation group had raised concerns about the impact of the Inland Rail on koalas near Gatton in the Lockyer Valley.

“So in my opinion any fast-tracking of anything at this stage is too early,” she said.

“I understand all the reasons the Australian government says we should be fast-tracking it, but ultimately fast-tracking infrastructure projects equals a very poor outcome for communities and the environment.”

Concerns about the impact on Queensland koalas from the project were first raised in the 2010 Southern Freight Rail Rail Corridor Study, which said critical koala habitat would be cleared near Ebenezer and Willowbank.

University of Queensland koala researcher Bill Ellis said the Inland Rail project runs through the Queensland government’s new preferred koala conservation zones, south-west of Ipswich.

Dr Ellis said these were areas where the latest Queensland government koala management plan was trying to preserve koala habitat, rather than the coastline.

“Queensland's philosophy is there is there is going to be more opportunity to create more habitat in that western area of the south-east,” Dr Ellis said.

“Having a state government that seems to be going down that path, to then find a federal government project might then build a rail track through there, it just undermines the Queensland plan.

“It will just strike another nail in its coffin.”

 :fp:
« Last Edit: June 22, 2020, 01:15:33 AM by ozbob »
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Offline JimmyP

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Re: Inland Rail
« Reply #315 on: June 22, 2020, 10:00:46 AM »
And yet if this was a new highway, it would ha e been built years ago and everyone would be cheering about how great it is  :frs:

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Re: Inland Rail
« Reply #316 on: June 29, 2020, 03:36:01 PM »
INQLD --> Expert panel to second-guess the $10b Inland Rail project

Quote
A panel has been appointed to review the flood modelling for the chosen route for the $10 billion Inland Rail project as consultants conduct further economic analysis.

In a joint statement today, Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack and Queensland Transport Minister Mark Bailey announced the five-member expert panel to review flood models and hydraulic designs where Inland Rail is slotted to cross floodplains in Queensland.

The process will be independent of the Australian Rail Track Corporation, which has carriage of the project, although the statement acknowledged a previous review had found the ARTC’S flood modelling to be fit for purpose. The panel will not review the chosen route, despite lobbying from concerned landholders and members of the Liberal National Party, although McCormack had previously asked the ARTC to consider an alternative in southern Queensland.

“The rigorous approvals process put in place by the Australian and Queensland Governments means that before a sod is turned the project has undergone robust and transparent analysis, including independent community feedback and multiple layers of expert peer review,” McCormack and Bailey said in the joint statement.

The panel members are Mark Babister, Tina O’Connell, Ferdinand Diermanse, Steve Clark and Martin Giles.

Their appointment comes after a long-running debate over local flood concerns and as McCormack’s department awaits a $40,000 economic analysis of the project, only months after releasing a previous report on the potential economic benefits. It is not clear why Ernst and Young was re-engaged for the analysis.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison recently announced Inland Rail was one of the projects chosen for fast-tracking through his government “targeting a 50 per cent reduction in Commonwealth assessment and approval times for major projects”. It is not clear how that will impact on Inland Rail timeframes.

Attempts by InQueensland to clarify the situation with either government, including the reason behind the economic analysis, have been unsuccessful. The status of the proposed alternative route is also unclear.

The 1700km Inland Rail project, stretching from Victoria to Queensland, involves more than a dozen separate works, including a 6km tunnel through the Toowoomba Range.

However, it is the proposed section from the NSW-Queensland border to Gowrie, across the Condamine flood plain, that has attracted the most attention. Construction was due to begin on that stretch next year.
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“You can't understand a city without using its public transportation system.” -- Erol Ozan