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AN ENVIRONMENTAL group has raised concerns about the dust from coal trains and says a tunnel should be seriously considered as part of the Inland Rail project.
Clean Air Wynnum has raised concerns about coal dust with both state Labor MP for Lytton Joan Pease and federal LNP MP for Bonner Ross Vasta.
Clean Air Wynnum member Chris Lintott said the group was concerned about the impact of the Inland Rail project, with more trains travelling to the Port of Brisbane and more trucks on the road heading to the port.
“The solution we see is for a direct line to the port. Ideally, that would be a tunnel,” Mr Lintott said. “If that’s not an option then we would like a direct line to the port alongside the Gateway Motorway.”
Mr Lintott said “of special concern is the level of dirt and dust that seems to accumulate around homes and businesses in Wynnum and surrounding suburbs”.
He said Clean Air Wynnum members had met with officials from the Department of Science, Information Technology and Innovation, the Department of Transport and Main Roads, and the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection.
He said Clean Air Wynnum was now looking for volunteers to help gather data and information about the air as a result of the meeting.
The Inland Rail line is scheduled to finish at Acacia Ridge, meaning trains would then continue on the existing line to the port, or freight would be unloaded to trucks.
Mr Lintott said this would add too much extra noise for Wynnum residents.
“You’re going to have trains going through 20-odd suburbs to the Port of Brisbane,” he said.
“It would be expensive to (build a tunnel or new line), but public health is far more expensive.
“The coal can be covered but at the moment it doesn’t have to be.”
Ms Pease said she had been in discussions with Clean Air Wynnum and would be happy to look at whether a tunnel was a viable option.
However, Federal LNP MP for Bonner Ross Vasta said a tunnel, or even a new line, was not viable.
“A tunnel from Acacia Ridge to the Port of Brisbane would have to be over 25km long and cost billions of dollars,” Mr Vasta said.
This article first appeared on www.couriermail.com.au
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