Logan City Council prepares Senate inquiry submission into Inland Rail

LOGAN City Council will raise consultation and environmental concerns in their submission to a Senate inquiry into the Inland Rail project.

ACCOUNTABILITY: Logan City Council will prepare a submission to a Senate inquiry into the Inland Rail project.

ACCOUNTABILITY: Logan City Council will prepare a submission to a Senate inquiry into the Inland Rail project.

The project's proposed Kagaru to Acacia Ridge and Bromelton route runs through Logan's fast growing south-west region, in close proximity to homes in Flagstone, Greenbank, Hillcrest and other suburbs.

Inland Rail Action Group committee member Suz Corbett called for the proposed route to be scrapped and for Inland Rail trains to terminate at Dalby and connect to Gladstone.

Innovation and City Transformation director Scott Bourke said while Logan City Council had no approval or regulatory role in the project, there was a responsibility to advocate on behalf of the community.

"We understand the rationale behind choosing to upgrade the existing interstate rail line for this part of the project, but the proposed route runs through what will become one of the region's most populated areas," Dr Bourke said.

"Existing residents are also affected. When Inland Rail is operational, the length, height and frequency of trains using the track will increase significantly, well above current usage.

"Residents have concerns around noise, vibration and air quality, particularly with coal dust.

"This inquiry is an opportunity for us to put the concerns of council and the Logan community on the public record to ensure accountability from the ARTC and government decision makers."

Interim administrator of Logan City Council, Tamara O'Shea, said there was more ARTC needed to do to demonstrate a genuine commitment to community engagement and consultation.

"The proposed alignment runs through what will become one of the most densely-populated areas in our region," she said.

Inland Rail CEO Richard Wankmuller said ARTC set up a Community Consultative Committee in response to demands for further engagement.

"The four meetings that we've held over the last 12 months have been well attended, with an average of 50-60 people attending as observers," Mr Wankmuller said.

"We are very sensitive to landowner and community concerns. This is a difficult project to build - far larger in scale than any other in terms of geographic footprint.

We are working through those concerns as sensitively and detailed as possible while also remembering we have been asked to build this project within a certain scope, budget and timeframe."

Mr Wankmuller said ARTC welcomed the opportunity to hear different perspectives about the project as part of the Senate Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee inquiry.

"The Inland Rail project is essential for Australia to meet its future freight and population challenge," he said.

"This is a regional infrastructure project that has gone through 15 years of route analysis, engineering design and business case development."

Ms Corbett said the Inland Rail Action Group would submit a detailed report to the inquiry.

"Stan (Corbett) and I have strongly fought to keep Brisbane and Logan coal free cities and part of that would be to terminate the trains at Dalby and continue on to Gladstone," she said.

"That is what we would like to see happen and there is a possibility it could work out to be more economical than what they have planned."

A report will be due following the inquiry by September 2020.

Submissions for the inquiry close on November 29.

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