The Liberal and Nationals’ Government is continuing to roll-out the Brisbane to Melbourne Inland Rail project with the release of a preliminary design for the Condamine floodplain crossing.
The draft proposal was presented by the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) to the Southern Darling Downs Community Consultative Committee (CCC) yesterday at Brookstead in Queensland, to begin a program of public engagement.
This initial presentation will be followed by a further two weeks of information sessions across the Darling Downs to communicate vital details about the crossing proposal with local community members.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the Australian Government and ARTC were taking positive steps to ensure communities are listened to, and engaged in responsible and strategic lanning, to deliver the nationbuilding Inland Rail project.
“Last year the Australian Government made a firm commitment to communities in the Darling Downs to focus on the floodplain crossing as a priority and we’ve followed through on that pledge,” Mr McCormack said.
“After months of consultation and work with landowners and stakeholders, a preliminary design has now been presented to the community for their feedback on a workable solution.
“Over the next two weeks, the ARTC will be presenting this preliminary design proposal to the wider community and I encourage everyone to participate in this process.
“The Inland Rail is a transformational project which will benefit regional communities and enhance economic activity, with freight transport costs set to be reduced by an estimated $10 per tonne.
“The Liberal and Nationals’ Government is committed to ensuring local knowledge and expertise is central to the process of informing the best possible rail line, to maximise its potential.”
Minister for Finance and the Public Service Mathias Cormann said a comprehensive design process was being followed to minimise impacts on landowners and the community, and ensure efficient delivery of the Inland Rail.
“The ARTC examined numerous design options, using local input and data from numerous sources including the Toowoomba Regional Council, Bureau of Meteorology and government databases, to find the best preliminary crossing design,” Senator Cormann said.
“The Inland Rail project will increase freight connectivity and improve supply chain access for our farmers and regional producers to enhance their economic sustainability and opportunities.
“That is why the Australian Government is committed to delivering the best engineering solution for landholders, the community and for Queensland.
“We also want to ensure we continue to spend taxpayers’ dollars responsibly with proper planning processes, while maximising the potential economic opportunities from this $9.3 billion investment.”
Federal Member for Groom Dr John McVeigh MP said the level of community consultation undertaken by the ARTC was a core feature of the Condamine crossing’s preliminary design proposal.
“A huge amount of work has gone into this early design of the new crossing including stakeholder consultation, geotechnical work, flood modelling and environmental and hydrological assessments,” Dr McVeigh said.
“I encourage all Queenslanders to support the Inland Rail project and be involved through community consultation sessions to ensure Queenslanders can enjoy the social, environmental and economic benefits that Inland Rail will deliver for landowners and communities.”