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COMMUNITY over coal … it’s that simple, according to Greens MP Michael Berkman.
The Member for Maiwar has lashed out at the Labor State Government for not listening to residents in Brisbane’s south and Logan who are outraged the Inland Rail project will see coal carried through their backyards.
More than 50,000 people will be impacted by the Kagaru to Acacia Ridge section of the 1700km interstate rail line from Melbourne to Brisbane.
A loaded coal train. (AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts)About 280 freight trains will run past homes in Parkinson, Algester and Acacia Ridge, as well as suburbs in Logan, weekly by 2040.
At least 84 of them will be carrying coal.
At the moment about 40 freight trains a week use the existing railway line.
Mr Berkman’s comments come after Member for Algester Leeanne Enoch slammed the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC), which is responsible for the design and delivery of the Federal Government project.
Ms Enoch claimed the ARTC had failed to meet the September deadline for implementing a Community Consultative Committee and had not kept the public up to date.
MP Leeanne Enoch.However, Mr Berkman said Ms Enoch had not addressed the issue most important to the community — getting the State and Federal governments to have the Kagaru to Acacia Ridge and Bromelton section of the track declared a co-ordinated project.
That one move would trigger an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) into the project.
“I think it really depends on the State Government and how meaningfully they want to approach this consultation — I mean if the community is universally up in arms about it and no one in the community wants to see it go ahead, what do they do then?” Mr Berkman said.
“Do they just capitulate to the corporate interests that they routinely do or do they actually respond to community concerns even if it comes at a cost to industry.
This article first appeared on www.couriermail.com.au
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