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A southside mayor has threatened to sue the federal government and the developer of the national Inland Rail freight line.
Logan mayor Darren Power threatened to take legal action against rail developer ARTC, if the high-volume freight line caused problems with the city’s roads, bridges, flood plains and residential properties after it is built.
Cr Power said he did not want southeast councils to be footing the bill to rectify failed infrastructure the federal government should pay for.
Logan will document possible problems arising from building the link through suburbia and send the list to Canberra and the ARTC.
“If they don’t listen, we might have to take legal action against the federal government for injurious affection on our residents and infrastructure,” Cr Power said.
“I would imagine (there will be) a significant cost on infrastructure if it’s not done properly … we will be lumbered with this and there won’t be any comeback.
“This is going to burden our ratepayers for the next 10, 20, 30 years or possibly more.
“We need to allocate funding for a transport study because we are talking about possibly tens of millions of dollars — maybe hundreds of millions of dollars of infrastructure — that needs to be addressed if they want to put this freight train through our city.”
Logan mayor Darren Power
Cr Power said Melburnians had been lumped with massive costs to rectify roads and train lines built two decades ago.
The council plans to complete a full engineering report to document possible problems from the freight line through Logan in anticipation of the state unveiling an Environmental Impact Statement.
Logan has already made a submission to the Queensland Co-ordinator-General Toni Power who wrote to the council in December asking for its opinion on the Calvert to Kagaru section.
That stretch will only touch a small part of the city with the majority of the corridor in the Scenic Rim Council area.
The Kagaru to Acacia Ridge track, which ploughs through a large part of Logan, is the only section still waiting for an environmental impact statement process.
A section of the track that runs through the southern part of Logan at the Wilbraham Bridge, where there is concern that the road will not support 620 workers building the track.
Logan’s submission for the Calvert section was criticised for failing to include comments from councillors and for using out-of-date correspondence written prior to last year’s senate hearings.
An officer said the council needed to be better prepared for future requests for feedback from Inland Rail, ARTC and the Coordinator-general’s department.
The council Calvert submission said there were concerns about the impact on the city’s roads and bridges, even during construction.
According to ARTC documents, more than 620 workers would be employed in the area to upgrade the existing track and build new bridges and track.
Wilbraham Bridge over Woollaman Creek at Wild Pig Creek Rd was singled out as a potential hazard with nearby gravel roads dangerous and dusty.
The road, which merges into a one-lane timber bridge, is steep and narrow and unsuitable for vehicles to pass on a steep gradient.
However, Forestdale resident and Inland Rail Action Group activist Suz Corbett said she was glad the state was given the feedback.
“This is excellent to send in a submission relating to the Calvert section, addressing issues with our roads and infrastructure on the boundaries,” she said.
“We are still waiting for the chance to make a submission on the Kagaru to Acacia Ridge section but that will depend on the state co-ordinator general granting that opportunity.
“From what the city engineers and mayor have said, the cost to the ratepayers of Logan is unknown, but could be high and could be another example of the poor project management and engineering of this ARTC project.
“Logan needs to support terminating the inland rail at Toowoomba and building a rail link to Gladstone to get rid of this problem.”
This article first appeared on www.couriermail.com.au
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