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The Federal and Queensland Governments are calling for public consultation on the draft Terms of Reference for an independent panel of expert hydrologists and engineers to inform the proposed flood modelling and structural design of the Inland Rail construction.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said public consultation was important to provide further confidence the Australian Rail Track Corporation’s (ARTC) freight rail line will safely cross the Condamine Floodplain.
“Public safety remains the number one consideration for this Government in the design and delivery of Inland Rail,” Mr McCormack said.
“The establishment of this Independent Panel of Experts, which will include international expertise, will reaffirm our commitment to an engineering solution which safely crosses the Condamine and meets global best practice.
“Extensive work has already been undertaken by the ARTC and by Australian experts to develop and test flood modelling that will guide the structural design of Inland Rail as it crosses flood prone areas.
“We understand the legitimate concerns landholders have about constructing infrastructure where our farmers and communities have experienced floods – which is why the Independent Panel of Experts is important to provide public safety assurance for Inland Rail.”
Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said the Government was committed to working with affected communities and experts to ensure Inland Rail safely and reliably delivered for all Australians over the very long term.
“Inland Rail is a major component of our $100 billion infrastructure investment pipeline,” Minister Cormann said.
“It will significantly expand Australia’s freight infrastructure, supporting 16,000 jobs during construction and delivering huge economic benefits to Australia.
“This expert panel will provide reassurance around Inland Rail’s hydrology and engineering solutions, ensuring that Queenslanders can benefit from 7,200 jobs and from a boost of more than $7 billion which Inland Rail will deliver to the Queensland economy.”
Queensland Minister for Transport and Main Roads Mark Bailey said both the Australian and Queensland Governments were committed to working with the community to ensure Inland Rail delivered on community expectations.
This article first appeared on www.miragenews.com
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