Logan councillors oppose Inland Rail coal trains

LOGAN councillor Trevina Schwarz has fired up over the issue of coal trains passing through Logan when the Inland Rail project is approved.

Cr Schwarz said the number of coal trains expected to pass through Kagaru to Acacia Ridge was “flying under the radar” during an ordinary council meeting last week.

“The federal government is not raising the coal issue...they just want to put a line through it,” she said.

“We are receptive to freight (trains), what we are not welcoming is coal and the impact it will have on residents.

“All the evidence is there on what coal can do… many people who live on the corridor have tank water. What are they supposed to do?”

Cr Laurie Smith echoed Ms Schwarz’s concerns.

“We currently have 30 to 40 train movements per week and at the peak of inland rail in 2040 there will be 45 to 64 train movements per day,” he said.

“We don’t know how long it will take for the trains to go past but it will create a lot of dust, noise, vibration and sound.

“The impact on residents include devaluation of properties, the slowing of residential and business development, higher business costs due to extra building standards to mitigate noise and pollution risks and loss of enjoyment on outdoor property with trains passing every 32 minutes.”

The comments come ahead of an Australian Rail Track Corporation Community Consultative Committee meeting on the Kagaru to Acacia Ridge and Bromelton project at Greenbank Community Centre on Monday, February 11 from 6pm to 8pm.

An ARTC spokesperson said the organisation was committed to meeting all planning, environmental, legislative and consultation requirements.

“ARTC publicly committed to lodging an application with the office of the coordinator-General for the project to be declared a coordinated project requiring an Environmental Impact Statement to be prepared. This will be done prior to the end of February,” the spokesperson said.

“There will be a range of detailed investigations undertaken to understand the characteristics of the existing environment, consider and describe the potential impacts of the project and detail how many impacts can be mitigated.

“These investigations generally include geotechnical, flooding and hydrology, ecological noise, air quality and vibration, social and heritage studies.”

The spokesperson said train operators would be required to comply with coal dust and mitigation measures.

“Methods of mitigation include washing of coal and maintaining moisture content levels, profiling and veneering,” the ARTC spokesperson said.

“These are management methods employed by the mines and their coal transport operators and are generally a condition of their approval granted by the Queensland government...”

The $9.3 million Inland Rail project extends 1700km from Melbourne Acacia Ridge.

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