THE controversial review of the Inland Rail project is a great result for the Ipswich region according to Federal Blair MP, Shayne Neumann.
The independent review led by Dr Kerry Schott found major deficiencies with the governance, design and delivery of the project, and that it was significantly over budget and behind schedule.
The review found problems with the proposed alignment in Queensland, and recommended the controversial Calvert to Kagaru section be changed and that an intermodal terminal be developed at Ebenezer, in rural Ipswich, as the end point for Inland Rail’s long double stacked freight trains.
The Government has agreed in-principle that an open-access terminal be developed in the Greater Brisbane region, with Ebenezer as the preferred location, subject to the completion of a business case with the Queensland Government.
Mr Neumann said this was a better outcome for residents in his electorate who had serious concerns about the impact of the Calvert to Kagaru section on their properties and the lack of consultation from the former Coalition Government and Australian Rail Track Corporation.
“I met with landholders along the proposed route, like the Ivory’s Rock Conventions and Events Centre at Peak Crossing, who raised concerns with me about the impacts of noise and vibrations from freight trains,” he said.
“I then met with the Minister for Transport and Regional Development Catherine King and Dr Kerry Schott to pass on this feedback, so I’m glad it has been picked up in the review.
“The proposal to end the Inland Rail at Ebenezer is a great one for these residents and a good thing for the local environment and wildlife, particularly around the Purga area, where the Government has funded koala conservation projects.
“An intermodal freight hub at Ebenezer would also be good for the local economy and jobs, and would complement the Queensland Government and Ipswich City Council’s plans for an industrial park in the Ebenezer or Willowbank area, provided there was a proper business case and community consultation.
For details of the Schott Review, The Delivery of Inland Rail: An Independent Review