First Brisbane, now Logan council has raised freight concerns

A new passenger rail line to Beaudesert could be the trade-off for Inland Rail running double-stacked freight through Logan, destination unknown.

Jun 24, 2021, updated Jun 24, 2021
Logan Mayor Darren Power (second from right) and councillors concerned about the impact of Inland Rail. (Supplied)

Logan Mayor Darren Power (second from right) and councillors concerned about the impact of Inland Rail. (Supplied)

The $15 billion Inland Rail freight line between Melbourne and Brisbane, as originally envisaged, is set to start hauling in 2027. Some upgrades and new works on the southern sections have already been completed, while much of the Queensland leg is still in the planning phase.

Logan City Council today sought assurances that the project not proceed until air, noise and vibration impacts are assessed, and mitigated, and construction itself will not disrupt the community.

The Kagaru to Acacia Ridge and Bromelton (K2ARB) alignment will run through, or parallel to, the Logan suburbs of Hillcrest, Forestdale, Greenbank, Boronia Heights, Kagaru, Greater Flagstone and North Maclean.

“There could be up to 45 movements a day of trains, some of which will be double- stacked, up to 1.8km in length, and carrying coal,” said Logan mayor Darren Power.

“That will have a profound effect on the quality of life of residents who’ll be dealing with increased noise and vibration and possible air quality concerns.”

“Construction of the line will also bring its own challenges.”

The council is also demanding $750,000 from the Federal Government to support future transport planning, and insisting the Queensland Government not sign off on Inland Rail until the business case for the related Salisbury to Beaudesert Passenger Rail Project is completed.

Brisbane City Council has previously questioned what will happen to the freight once Inland Rail reaches Acacia Ridge, and the prospect of more trucks being on local roads.

With no rail connection yet identified or funded between Acacia Ridge and the Port of Brisbane, Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner has repeatedly declared a tunnel link to ships is the only answer.

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ARTC Inland Rail CEO Richard Wankmuller recently played down the need for port connections amid calls for the project to instead terminate at the Port of Gladstone.

In a Senate committee hearing, Wankmuller said the growing south-east Queensland region had its own freight needs that would still be satisfied under the current design.

“Trying to divert now to go to Gladstone can be an ‘and’, but an ‘or’ doesn’t make sense,” Wankmuller said.

“We have to be true to the business case and deliver on that business case. That is what we’re doing.”

A port connection in Melbourne is also the subject of debate.

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