Concerns that thousands of City of Logan residents will be negatively impacted by the Inland Rail project have been confirmed in a Senate inquiry.
The Management of the Inland Rail project by the Australian Rail Track Corporation and the Commonwealth Government inquiry’s report was tabled last night in the Australian Senate.
City of Logan Mayor Darren Power said the Senate Committee had supported the Logan community by recommending a “rigorous, transparent and consultative impact assessment of the Kagaru and Acacia Ridge to Bromelton project (K2ARB)”.
“Council and our community have long been vocal about the catastrophic impacts of the project through the K2ARB section,” Cr Power said.
“The route was selected without consultation and residents did not get an opportunity to influence route selection or offer alternatives.
“Our residents will bear the brunt of noise, vibration and air quality issues, with almost 40,000 residents projected to live within 1km of the rail corridor by 2041.”
Cr Power said Council had long called for K2ARB to be a coordinated project so it could be subject to a rigorous assessment process and provide better safeguards to affected communities.
“I can’t understand why the Queensland Coordinator-General decided not to call in the K2ARB section as a ‘coordinated project’ earlier this year, with approvals now to come via the Department of Transport and Main Roads,” he said.
“It’s the most densely-populated section in Queensland and also the only section not facing that level of assessment.
“That’s why Council has now endorsed a list of actions that we want the Queensland and Australian Governments to agree to for our community’s protection.”
The Senate inquiry report noted the potential adverse impacts of a 24-hour journey time requirement between Melbourne and Brisbane and recommended there be no adverse impacts on passenger rail networks including the Salisbury to Beaudesert project.
The report also makes several recommendations regarding the need for thorough consideration of alternative routes from Toowoomba to the Port of Gladstone.
Cr Power said Council would formally consider the report’s recommendations during its September meeting round.
“Council had two separate opportunities to appear before the Senate inquiry committee in January 2020 and January 2021, and I’m very appreciative that we were able to put forward our community’s concerns,” he said.
“I hope the committee’s recommendations are strongly considered by the ARTC and the Australian Government to ensure the best outcome for the City of Logan and our residents.
“In the meantime, we will continue to shout our concerns from the rooftops – especially during the next federal election – to ensure the best outcomes for our community.”
The Inland Rail: derailed from the start report can be viewed online.
Council’s requests for the Inland Rail project (endorsed June 2021)
- That all environmental impacts including air, noise and vibration be assessed using methodologies that account for long-term consequences
- That there are legally-binding triggers to enforce mitigation measures as residential and other development occurs along the route
- That the Australian Government provides $750,000 in grant funding to Council to support future transport planning
- That the ARTC uses transport routes for site access that avoid densely populated residential areas and school zones
- That the ARTC fully funds any road upgrades, road maintenance and bridge upgrades required under the project
- That Queensland Minister for Transport and Main Roads Mark Bailey not give approval for K2ARB to proceed until a business case for the Salisbury to Beaudesert Passenger Rail Project (S2B) is completed.