Inland Rail: Border-Gowrie line gets coordinated status


Queensland government requires environmental impact assessment for proposed Border-Gowrie rail line

Inland Rail: Border-Gowrie line gets coordinated status
The proposed rail line will connect Gowrie, outside Toowoomba, with NSW

 

The Queensland Government has awarded ‘coordinated project’ status to a section of rail line being built between Gowrie, outside Toowoomba, and the Queensland-NSW border.

The move comes hot on the heels of Victoria signing up for its part of the project.

The move has been hailed in Canberra as a step forward for the project, but according to the Queensland co-ordinator general's website, the status award does not imply government approval of, or support for, the project in question.

"Rather, it means the project requires a rigorous impact assessment involving whole-of-government coordination, either by a comprehensive environmental impact statement (EIS) or a targeted impact assessment report," according to the website of the Queensland Coordinator General.

The proposed single-track dual-gauge freight railway will consist of 146km of new dual-gauge track and 78km of upgraded track to accommodate double stack freight trains, as well as rail infrastructure, ancillary works and connection of the rail lines to the existing West Moreton system.

Queensland’s Coordinator General is currently preparing draft terms of reference for an EIS over the project – which it estimates will cost $1.4 billion.

The Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC), which is coordinating the Inland Rail project, is currently working with local landholders and the broader community to conduct field studies for the project.

The ARTC is also preparing draft EISs for three other sections of the rail line after they were awarded coordinated status – from Gowrie to Helidon, from Helidon to Calvert and from Calvert to Kagaru, near Logan in Brisbane’s southern suburbs.

Federal Member for Groom John McVeigh says the community's input had been essential in getting this project underway and he was looking forward to seeing how their views would shape the project.

"ARTC will continue to work closely with residents, industry, Councils and stakeholders to ensure the community's voice is heard, with a number of formal and informal opportunities for locals to have their say during this phase," McVeigh says.

"This project is big news for southern and regional Queensland returning $7.3 billion to the Queensland economy and I am keen to see how the community can take advantage of this transformational project."

Construction on the Border to Gowrie section will start once all necessary approvals have been received.

 

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