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Urban rail news in brief - July 2015
Inland rail a trifecta for Toowoomba region: mayor
FELTON Valley landholders have rejected a proposal which could see the Melbourne-Brisbane Inland Rail pass through iconic farmland close to Toowoomba.
The proposal follows growing concerns from landholders across the Condamine floodplain who have questioned the suitability of the Millmerran to Toowoomba route.
In response to that concern, the federal government directed the Australian Rail Track Corporation to assess other Inland Rail route options including the Karara route through the Felton Valley and using the existing rail corridor to Warwick and across to Toowoomba.
Friends of Felton president Rob McCreath said the option proposed in SMEC report highlights the route’s proximity to the Felton coal deposits.
“Since the defeat of the Ambre Energy mine proposal at Felton in 2012, the Felton community has worked tirelessly to promote the farmers and produce of the valley and surrounding areas,” Mr McCreath said.
“Our annual food festival has grown to become a popular and celebrated Iconic Queensland Event, this year attracting 12,000 visitors and giving a huge boost to regional tourism. Funds raised have contributed to the building of a new community hall, which was opened just last month. The future of Felton as a food bowl and tourism destination is very bright indeed.
“There is no doubt that the Inland Rail line, carrying trains 1.8km long at up to 115km/hour would cause serious harm to the Felton Valley, threatening the future of the Felton Food Festival and jeopardising everything that this community has worked so hard to achieve.
“We are appealing for public support for our campaign to stop this plan in its tracks. The coal at Felton must stay in the ground; the Inland Rail should stick to the route selected in 2014.”
This article first appeared on www.queenslandcountrylife.com.au
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