NSW Farmers welcomes the move to review the route of Inland Rail through the Condamine floodplain in Queensland, and continues to call for a similar review in NSW.
The review, ordered by Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack, is in response to warnings the route will exacerbate flooding in parts of southern Queensland.
NSW Farmers Inland Rail Taskforce chair Adrian Lyons says concerns around flooding are shared in northern NSW, where landholders and communities may be put at risk by the new infrastructure.
“Like in Queensland, NSW Farmers has concerns around the hydrology modelling provided by Australian Rail Track Corporation. We have been calling for increased scrutiny over particular sections of the route for years.” Mr Lyons says.
“Our Queensland counterparts have exposed major discrepancies with hydrological modelling for the Condamine floodplain section of the route and have serious concerns about potential flooding impacts.”
“The Inland Rail line is expected to be built over 2 meters high, distorting the usual movement of flood waters and putting properties and communities at risk.”
“The risks posed by the inland rail route to landholders and communities in northern NSW have not been properly addressed. A review into the route is essential, but it will only garner support if it is independent.”
“There is particular concern around the Macintyre floodplain in northern NSW. It has been suggested that an embankment along Whalan Creek will redirect flows north into the Macintyre River, generating an increased flood risk for landholders along the floodplain and communities such as Toomelah, Boggabilla and Goondiwindi.”
“The major public safety risks associated with the route through parts of northern NSW have not been properly assessed by the Australian Rail Track Corporation or the Australian Government. This has been a fatal flaw of the project.”
“The Queensland review has potential to improve our understanding of the route’s impact on floodplain areas. But the review needs to be independent in order to be successful, and must include a comprehensive analysis of the social, economic and environmental impacts of the proposed route.”