The Inland Rail Project is open for feedback

Toowoomba Regional Council (TRC) will focus on infrastructure and environmental impacts in its response to the Inland Rail Gowrie to Helidon (G2H) Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).

The State Government’s Office of the Coordinator-General (OCG) has released (2 August 2021) the draft G2H EIS for public notification, with submissions closing on 25 October 2021.

The draft EIS has been prepared by the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) which is delivering the project on behalf of the Federal Government.

TRC Mayor Paul Antonio said Council’s response to the EIS would continue on from its submission on the Border to Gowrie (B2G) EIS.

“Council identified a number of infrastructure and environmental impact concerns with the B2G EIS, including the sourcing of water for construction purposes,” Mayor Antonio said.

“The same forensic attention to detail will be applied to the draft G2H EIS to ensure impacts on infrastructure, the environment and other areas of the project are successfully mitigated.

“While Council supports the Inland Rail project, we must ensure that while significant benefits are delivered to the Region from the project, the potential impacts from such a major project are not overlooked.

“As was the case with the B2G EIS response, there will be a thorough assessment of the G2H EIS to ensure any adverse impacts are minimised and to ensure world’s best practice is being implemented.

“Our response to the OCG will again focus on making sure the project decisions are in the best interests of the Region.

“This is again our chance to try to influence potential impacts on Council assets.

“The route and land tenure issues are the responsibility of the Federal Government and ARTC and not something that Council can influence but we can try to ensure the rest of the project is in the best interests of the Region.

“This is an opportunity for the public to have their say on this section of the project and Council encourages community members to review the EIS and provide feedback to the OCG by 25 October 2021.

Under State Government guidelines, the EIS provides a comprehensive description of:

  • the current environment in the area of the project
  • all potential environmental impacts of the project
  • proponent proposals to avoid, minimise, mitigate and/or offset those potential impacts.

The G2H EIS can be viewed at the following link:   https://www.statedevelopment.qld.gov.au/coordinator-general/assessments-and-approvals/coordinated-projects/current-projects/inland-rail-gowrie-to-helidon/inland-rail-gowrie-to-helidon-project-draft-eis-documents

The community can make submissions to the Office of the Coordinator-General via email at inlandrailg2h@coordinatorgeneral.qld.gov.au

Details of ARTC’s community information sessions can be found at their website: https://inlandrail.artc.com.au/

More information on Council’s role can be found on the Council website at: https://yoursay.tr.qld.gov.au/inland-rail#.