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An inland rail line linking Melbourne and Brisbane via Wagga Wagga, Parkes, Moree and Toowoomba has been commissioned by the Australian Government, with $300 million committed to finalise planning, engineering design and environmental assessments.
Key benefits of the Inland Rail project:
Construction started in 2018 with three sections of the railway prioritised for development as projects which will bring immediate productivity or reliability benefits. One of these priority projects is the Rosewood-Kagaru section near Ipswich which will bring immediate benefits for freight trains from Toowoomba to Brisbane.
The Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) is delivering the program under the guidance of the Inland Rail Implementation Group with key roles played by the Queensland, New South Wales and Victorian state governments in the planning and approvals process.
The Inland Rail is a Federal Government project, with the route chosen and entirely managed by the Federal Government through the ARTC. We don't have any power or influence over the Inland Rail alignment or land tenure issues and have not been asked to endorse the route. We can influence road-rail interfaces and impacts on our other assets.
We are lobbying for better outcomes from the Inland Rail project, including additional project elements, to benefit the Toowoomba Region and will continue to work closely with ARTC to minimise adverse impacts where possible.
ARTC is responsible for consultation with landholders and stakeholders on all matters related to the project.
The Federal Government announced in April 2020 that pre-feasibility studies will be advanced for five interface improvement projects that are linked to the Inland Rail project across southern Queensland.
On behalf of the Darling Downs and South West Queensland (DDSWQ) Council of Mayors, we submitted Expressions of Interest (EOIs) in late 2019 for three projects that were assessed under the Inland Rail Interface Improvement Program by the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications.
The two additional proposals were submitted by Goondiwindi Regional Council and Interlink SQ and Seaway, which have also received approval for the further development of their proposals.
The successful proposals in southern Queensland include:
The projects will now proceed to the second stage which is a pre-feasibility study to be conducted by Ernst and Young on behalf of the Department.
The relevant State authorities - the Department of Transport and Main Roads and Queensland Rail - will be invited to join the process as the first two proposals involve the Queensland Rail freight network.
We are undertaking the following:
We are advocating and lobbying for the following rail infrastructure:
We are lobbying ARTC to achieve the following:
We are lobbying ARTC to ensure the Inland Rail project properly addresses all stormwater and flooding matters associated with the project during and after construction, including but not limited to:
We are actively engaging with ARTC to ensure the project flood modelling is undertaken utilising industry best practice.
ARTC has developed its own flood model for the Inland Rail project and takes overall responsibility for this model. The ARTC flood model has been reviewed by independent experts and will be continually reviewed as the project develops.
We have estabilished an EIS Working Group for internal response to the Inland Rail EIS submission process. We provided response to ARTC on both Environmental Impact Statements.
On 7 April 2021, we endorsed a submission on the draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Border to Gowrie (B2G) section of the Inland Rail project that will be sent to the Queensland Coordinator General after it is considered again at the Ordinary Meeting of Council on 20 April 2021. Read the Toowoomba Regional Council B2G draft Environmental Impact Statement submission.
Toowoomba Region Mayor Paul Antonio said Council was determined to ensure world’s best practice was adhered to throughout the project in the Toowoomba Region.
Our submission, on behalf of the community, detailed specifically how it wished to see the project align with the Terms of Reference requirements as outlined by the State Government (Queensland Coordinator General).
Our submission has identified several issues with the draft Border to Gowrie Environmental Impact Statement.
The overarching issues include, but are not limited to:
Read more on our response to the draft B2G EIS in this media release: Council endorses EIS submission media release.
Submissions to the Office of the Co-ordinator General on the Border to Gowrie draft EIS closed on 4 May 2021.
Have your say: Border to Gowrie project - draft environmental impact statement
View the B2G EIS online
The Office of the Coordinator General provided hard copies of the B2G EIS at Millmerran Service Centre and Pittsworth Library. Digital copies are available at Toowoomba City Library.
Further information on The coordinated project process can be found on the Department of State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning website.
We have lodged a submission on the draft G2H EIS to the State Government’s Office of the Coordinator-General (OCG).
Our submission follows a thorough assessment of the draft EIS, particularly considering water for construction purposes, infrastructure needs and environmental issues,
Read the Toowoomba Regional Council Submission G2H draft Environmental Impact Statement here.
Submissions to the OCG closed on Monday, 25 October 2021.
View the G2H Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).
You can have your say about the Inland Rail project on the ARTC community consultation webpages listed below or via the Community Consultative Committees established by ARTC:
General information on EIS process
Interactive project map
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 community can make submissions to the Office of the Coordinator-General via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
General information page on EIS process
Southern Darling Downs
Inner Darling Downs
Enquiries on the Inland Rail project can be directed to ARTC on 1800 732 761 or email email@example.com.
Australian Government Department of Infrastructure & Regional Development: Inland Rail
Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC)