Call for the Feds to Investigate State Forestry Option for Inland Rail

Graeme Scheu 2Goondiwindi Mayor Graeme Scheu has called on Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure Michael McCormack to urgently investigate proposals for a minor change to the current Inland Rail alignment surrounding Inglewood.

Councillor Scheu says several requests to Australia Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) to look at the proposals have fallen on deaf ears and it appeared ARTC had ministerial instruction to only look at the existing 2km corridor.

The Mayor says that according to the ARTC, the Minister was the only one who could change this.

“ARTC’s claim that it has investigated realigning Inland Rail through State Forest is only partly true.”

The Mayor says the claim follows a statement from Goondiwndi Regionl Council that the forest had been used as a power line corridor previously and would therefore not create a precedent.

“This statement was made after our council was told by ARTC that the Queensland State Government had insisted that the rail would not be entertained in the State forest.”

rail freight
“My investigations with State departments indicate that the forestry option has never been put to either party. This section of the forest is mainly unused. It is certainly not National Park.”

“In the current political climate with discussions surrounding the preservation of good agricultural land, I can’t believe any form of government would not at least investigate the option.”

Councillor Scheu says it’s a “no brainer” to align the route through State Forest, thus avoiding the segregation of about 50 properties in the Goondiwindi region and similar in adjoining Toowoomba.

“Even if it slightly more expensive, it would save enormous angst and gain massive support for the much-needed project.”

He says all council wanted was for the option of a minor route change to be properly investigated.

Mayor Scheu also points to the Queensland Coordinator-General recent declaration that the project be a ‘coordinated project’, sparking the start of environmental impact assessments.