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A group of farmers from Millmerran in Queensland's Darling Downs have vowed to fight the Morrison government's $10 billion Melbourne to Brisbane inland rail project until the route is changed.
While the Morrison government's $9.3 billion equity investment into Australian Rail Track Corporation was supposed to fast-track the development of the nation-building project, the Queensland government has refused to sign the intergovernmental agreement allowing the 1700-kilometre project to be developed north of the Tweed until the problem is resolved.
Millmerran farmers say the route chosen by ARTC is in the middle of a flood plain. Don Hildred
Many farmers in NSW and Queensland support the idea of inland rail – which will move freight from Melbourne to Brisbane in less than 24 hours – but the final route selection of the project championed by former Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce could be a vote-changer.
The Millmerran Rail Group, a collection of farmers from the Darling Downs, say the ARTC has rushed through the route selection from the NSW-Queensland border to Gowrie section, saying the chosen route is through a floodplain that was hit as recently as 2011.
They claim the decision was made to save ARTC and the federal government money but it could be a potential disaster in the making.
This article first appeared on www.afr.com
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