Authors: Holding Redlich Partner Gerard Timbs and Special Counsel Peter Holt
Publication: Queensland Country Life
Publisher: Fairfax Media
The Queensland government has released the draft Environmental Impact Statements (EIS) for two of the five sections of the Inland Rail project in Queensland.
The first EIS relates to the section between the NSW/Queensland border and Gowrie (B2G) and the second EIS relates to the section from Calvert to Kagaru (C2K). You can access a copy of the draft EIS here (for B2G) and here (for C2K).
While public consultation on the two EIS is in progress, landholders have previously expressed concerns about a number of impact issues associated with the project, including:
- Flooding and hydrology - Landholders are concerned about the accuracy of the modelling used to justify the impacts of the project on the large floodplains in the border region.
- Noise and vibration - What the impacts of the project will be on existing properties and farmsteads and how those impacts will be mitigated by the proponent.
- Access and severance - Inland Rail cuts across a number of properties leaving sections of the farm less useable. The alignment also cuts across the farm gate making it more difficult to access properties.
- Compulsory acquisition - A considerable amount of land will need to be acquired both for the temporary construction and ongoing operations. Landholders are still asking questions about how the compensation framework will operate.
- Fencing standards - The proponent has been non-committal to what standards the fencing will be constructed to after the project goes through. Landholders want a fencing standard that they can stand behind.
In January 2021, the Queensland Farmers' Federation asked the Office of the Coordinator-General to extend the exhibition period to account for the harvest. That request was declined.
Residents and stakeholders in Queensland have until next Monday, March 8, to submit their feedback on the EIS for the B2G section, and until April 19 for the C2K section.
Get your submission in and make sure your voice counts.