STOP ARTC Freight Line proposal from using NSW/QLD corridor Kagaru to Acacia Ridge.
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Although not opposed to the concept of a high speed freight rail line between Victoria and Queensland the Inland Rail Action Group is opposed to the current proposal to route these trains from Toowoomba to Brisbane instead of continuing on to Gladstone.
The route from Toowoomba to Brisbane requires the construction of tunnels through several mountain ranges at a huge cost.
The ARTC proposal includes for initially 1.8km long trains eventually extending to 3.6km long trains.
The frequency of trains will rise to between 40 to 45 per day including a mix of 120 Queensland narrow gauge coal trains per week.
The proposed route from Kagaru to Acacia Ridge passes through high density populated suburban residential areas including some existing and some suburbs such as Greater Flagstone in the process of developing to exceed 130,000 residents.
ARTC have planned passing loops within the suburban corridor with no consideration of the impact of multi diesel engines idling for extended periods and the impact these will have on adjacent residents. The noise impact of 1.8 to 3.6 km long trains stopping and accelerating from rest has also not been considered.
With no environmental impact statement planned nor consideration for residents in the planning, these freight and coal trains will create health issues for thousands of residents along the route including coal dust, rail dust, noise, vibration, visual pollution and stress including interrupted sleep.
Residents are also concerned and opposed to the transport of dangerous chemicals and goods between Kagaru and Acacia Ridge on the narrow corridor NSW/Qld rail line within metres of homes.
The alternate route of extending the ARTC freight line Gladstone in lieu of Brisbane has many advantages over the current ARTC proposal. The hugely expensive tunnels through the Great Dividing Range are not required. Completion of the ‘missing southern link’ between Wandoan to Banana opens up the Surat Basin for development. Gladstone port is under capacity for both freight and coal and being a Queensland owned port would provide income to our state. In addition the Gladstone link will assist in the development on inland Queensland.
In order of priority we the residents of the communities between Kagaru and Acacia Ridge request:
1) ARTC and the Federal and State Governments reconsider the final route of the Inland Rail between Toowoomba and Brisbane and review the advantages of an alternate route from Toowoomba to Gladstone.
2) If against all considerations the proposed route to Kagaru precedes the flawed political decision to divert Queensland coal trains onto the ARTC freight line is to be revised and is not to proceed and the coal trains remain on their existing freight rail line to the Port of Brisbane.
3) If against all considerations the proposed route to Kagaru proceeds the freight line is to be ‘invisible’ to residents by using a ‘cut and cover’ construction method to remove all health issues as outlined above from existing and future suburbs and residents.
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