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Members of the Millmerran Rail Group met with the chair of the Senate Inquiry into Inland Rail in Toowoomba yesterday morning.
Chair of the Senate Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee Senator Glenn Sterle, together with Senator Anthony Chisholm and Labor candidate for Groom Chris Meibusch met with landholders to discuss the Inland Rail project.
MRG chairman Wes Judd said he and members of the rail group had “a good morning” and “we’ve been able to map out where we think a lot of issues still lie and that’s all we’ve ever tried to do”.
“We’ve never had the intent of holding (the Inland Rail project) up in any way shape or form. I know we get accused of that often,” he said.
“But as of today there are still many unresolved issues with this in our section. The project overall will be hampered if they’re not addressed.”
The Millmerran Rail Group had hoped to meet with Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack during his visit to Toowoomba on Monday, but that was not possible.
The group has concerns over a review of an alternate forestry route requested by Mr McCormack.
Mr McCormack said it was time to get on with building the project.
The MRG’s biggest concern remains the Government’s chosen route and its crossing of the Condamine floodplain, which in its current form they believe has the potential to exacerbate flooding in the area.
“After the announcement yesterday that they could stay wedded to the line they want to stay on through Millmerran and through the floodplain – we’ve still got huge issues outstanding with hydrology and with modelling with that hydrology and that then leads to design issues and at the end of the day a project that’s not fit for purpose to negotiate that floodplain,” Mr Judd said.
“That’s our biggest issue. So safety and cost are huge in regard to that.”
The Australian Rail Track Corporation has confidence in its design of the route’s floodplain crossing and its hydrological modelling.
This article first appeared on www.thechronicle.com.au
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