Fears rail plan ‘too far gone’ to save 180 houses
A FREIGHT train line, which could carry coal, will proceed through Logan suburbs despite major opposition from the council and the possibility of dangerous derailments.
Australian Rail Track Corporation officials told Logan councillors the Inland Rail route was unlikely to change despite more than 180 Logan houses in its path and vehement opposition from 10 of the city's 13 councillors.
Australian Rail Track Corporation project manager Rob McNamara was subjected to a barrage of questions about the line, which will be built on existing track running through Greenbank, Forestdale, Hillcrest, Flagstone and Algester.
Mr McNamara refused to say if the project was "too far gone to change the route" but suggested it was unlikely after the federal government gave the corporation the alignment for the track.
He came under further fire after admitting that derailments were "far too frequent".
He was commenting after he heard of residents' concerns about the number of freight trains increasing from eight a day to more than 45 a day in 2040 when the project was completed.
"There's always a risk but I see it as very low and it's highly inappropriate to suggest that Inland Rail is going to be killing a lot of people," Mr McNamara said.
Councillor Tony Hall slammed the project saying there were no long-term benefits for residents as there were no freight stops in Logan and only short-term jobs for a minority of people would be created.
Councillor Natalie Willcocks said the ARTC was taking the cheap route and lowering the track in some places instead of rebuilding bridges which would benefit the wider community.
She also called for a passing loop and track duplication to be built on Army Reserve land at Greenbank instead of going through suburbia.
Further criticism came from mayor Darren Power who asked for a council representative to be appointed to an ARTC community consultation group.
He was told that was not possible but the ARTC would pay for experts to advise council on aspects of the line.
Other complaints included the lack of public consultation about the route and the lack of compensation for those affected by the trains even though they don't live near the track.
The ARTC lodged a initial draft statement for the Kagaru to Acacia Ridge track with the Coordinator-General's office in August.
It will submit its updated environmental impact statement to the Coordinator-General this month after making adjustments following community feedback.
Further public consultation will be held before the year's end.
Originally published as Fears rail plan 'too far gone' to save 180 houses