Draft options for Inland Rail floodplain coming 'shortly'
DRAFT options and hydrological modelling for the Inland Rail project's planned crossing of the Condamine floodplain will be released "shortly", according to the Australian Rail Track Corporation.
The $10 billion project's crossing of the 12.5km floodplain has been a contentious issue since the Federal Government's preferred route was announced by former Infrastructure Minister Darren Chester in September last year.
It later emerged that while the preferred Charlton-Wellcamp route had partly been chosen because it was cheaper than other options, detailed design works on how the line would cross the floodplain had not been completed.
In November 2017, Mr Chester ordered ARTC to expedite preliminary design concepts for the crossing of the floodplain, which he said were expected by mid-2018.
Now, The Chronicle can reveal that ARTC is expecting to present "a preliminary design solution to key stakeholders and the broader community at some time in September".
"Our immediate priority is additional consultation with relevant landowners over the next month to gain their views on the flood modelling and acceptability of flood levels," an ARTC spokesman said.
"Draft options for crossing the Condamine floodplain as well as detailed flood modelling will be provided to landholders and the wider community for consultation shortly.
ARTC said it had undertaken "comprehensive" investigations including geotechnical work, environmental studies and consultations with numerous stakeholders as part of the preliminary design process.
Millmerran Rail Group chair Wes Judd said he looked forward to seeing the draft options, but the "main issue still remains that (the line) is in the wrong place". Inner Downs Inland Rail Action Group president Larry Pappin said he was not feeling optimistic the draft options would be satisfactory to the community.