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No environmental impact study will be carried out into the crucial Beaudesert (Kagaru) to Acacia Ridge leg of the federal government’s $14.5 billion, 1700-kilometre Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail project.
Instead, Queensland’s Department of Transport and Main Roads will consult the community over the rail section.
Residents Against Inland Rail – the Queensland group opposing the link from Kagaru, south-east of Brisbane, to Acacia Ridge in Brisbane’s south – say 50,000 “forgotten residents” are being snubbed.
Spokeswoman Suz Corbett said under the project, the number of trains will increase from eight a day (six freight trains and two passenger trains between Sydney and Brisbane) to 45 double-stacked freight trains that could be up to 1.8 kilometres long.
“We demand to know the reasons that our Kagaru to Acacia Ridge and Bromelton section – with over 50,000 forgotten residents – have been refused this environmental impact study,” she said.
Husband Stan Corbett said the impact on residents must be considered.
“They are planning to increase the number of trains to 45 a day. That is a huge material change of use. It is just a huge change,” he said.
Inland Rail is primarily a $15 billion project to make it more efficient to shift domestic freight – white goods, groceries, hardware, agriculture for local markets – between Brisbane and Melbourne.
However, there is still no link to the Port of Brisbane, despite an options study being completed for 16 months. There is also, as yet, no confirmed link to the Port of Melbourne.
This article first appeared on www.brisbanetimes.com.au
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