Border to Gowrie (Qld)

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The Border to Gowrie (B2G) section is one of 13 projects that complete Inland Rail. It comprises approximately 145km of new dual gauge track and 71km of upgraded track from the New South Wales/Queensland border, near Yelarbon, to Gowrie Junction, north west of Toowoomba in Queensland.

This section will connect one of Australia’s most productive farming regions by rail to markets, including to Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide and Perth, more quickly, more reliably, in larger volumes and at a lower cost. This will help producers to be more competitive, opening up more market options for them.



Project status

The project is nearing completion of the reference design development phase. Pending project approval from the Australian and Queensland governments, the reference design will be finalised and the detailed design phase of the project will start.

The B2G preliminary draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) was sent to the Office of the Coordinator-General (OCG) for review in late 2019. The Queensland Coordinator-General will evaluate our preliminary draft EIS document against the terms of reference (ToR) as well as predicted economic and social impacts, and seek formal submissions from landowners and the community later this year. We will keep you informed about the submissions process.

Reference design

The proposed alignment is one element of the reference design. You can view the proposed rail alignment on our interactive map.

Other elements of the reference design include proposed public road and rail crossings, and the project footprint. The project footprint is the area that may be required for the construction and operation of the Inland Rail. The project footprint varies in width to accommodate proposed changes to local roads, earthworks, access tracks and construction material storage and production.

Information from the community and field studies played a key role in determining the proposed alignment. Other considers included the technical viability, safety, operational restrictions, constructability, environment, and community and property impacts.

For more information about the proposed alignment, public road rail crossings and community feedback in your suburb, please read our local area fact sheets and our visualisations.

Condamine floodplain crossing

Since the release of the proposed Condamine floodplain crossing in late 2018, Inland Rail has continued consultation with landowners and key stakeholders to update the flood model and design of the crossing solution.

The flood model has been expanded to incorporate additional local flow paths, in particular within the Back Creek catchment, and has also been validated against the 2013 flood event. We have undertaken further sensitivity testing on the model to determine how inflows from local creeks may impact water levels and velocities in a 1-in-100 (1% Annual Exceedance Probability (AEP) flood event in order to gain more robust results based on local knowledge. We have also included additional data from the Warwick and Cecil Weir stream gauges, as well as anecdotal data of historic flood events prior to 1921, to improve our flood frequency analysis. These updates have allowed improved understanding of flooding behaviour in the Condamine floodplain but have not resulted in significant changes to the overall model or required considerable updates to the crossing design.

The Condamine floodplain crossing design has been updated to incorporate community feedback. Key changes included:

  • extending the proposed bridge over the North Branch by approximately 250m north
  • moving the proposed Yandilla rail bridge further south and combining with the proposed Grasstree Creek bridge
  • increasing the number of proposed culverts near Yandilla grain silos to ensure the drainage channel to the south of the silos has enough culverts to convey flood water.

The proposed Condamine floodplain crossing solution remains within the existing rail corridor, and now comprises:

  • 6 bridges
  • 6.1km total bridge length
  • Approximately 500 culverts (900mm – 2.1m in diameter).

Assessment of the proposed Condamine floodplain crossing solution using the updated flood model indicates that in a 1% AEP event, the solution is likely to change flood behaviour at 23 private properties that already experience some degree of flooding. This includes changes in peak water levels of 10-50 mm at six houses. We are continuing to work with landowners to develop mitigation measures to minimise and manage any changes to flood behaviour.

You can view the floodplain crossing design here.

The proposed Condamine floodplain crossing solution is subject to assessment as part of the EIS process and may change as a result of conditions of approval, further investigations, or detailed design.

Consultation with affected landowners is ongoing.

Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) progress and investigations

Following acceptance of the ToR in 2018, ARTC has been undertaking investigations for the B2G EIS.

An EIS is a tool the government uses to assess:

  • the current environment in the area of the project
  • potential environmental, economic and social impacts of the project
  • proposals to avoid, minimise, mitigate and/or offset those potential impacts.

The B2G team has been gathering on-site information within the project study area. Numerous environmental and technical investigations, including geotechnical surveys, baseline noise monitoring, Indigenous and European cultural heritage surveys, hydrology studies, traffic counts, and fauna and flora surveys have been carried out. Results of these investigations have informed the development of the EIS and project reference design.

To view upcoming investigation works, you can view our latest notification.

Community consultation

Since September 2018, we have engaged with key stakeholders, landowners and the community regarding the development of the reference design and EIS. This engagement centred around the following elements:

  • focused area of investigation
  • alignment development in Millmerran, Millwood and Whetstone
  • Condamine floodplain solution
  • road/rail interface (public road and private crossings)
  • hydrology modelling of catchments across the study area including Gowrie Creek, Westbrook Creek, Pariagara Creek and the Macintyre Brook.
  • social impact assessment
  • noise.

Engagement activities to date have included letters, phone calls and meetings with directly affected landowners, workshops with key stakeholders, community information sessions, a community survey, newsletters, project e-news, interactive map and social media.

You can also contact us during business hours on 1800 732 761 or email us at inlandrailqld@artc.com.au.

Community Consultative Committees (CCC) – Inner and Southern Darling Downs

To find out more click on your local CCC:

Inner Darling Downs CCC

Southern Darling Downs CCC

The Border to Gowrie (B2G) section is one of 13 projects that complete Inland Rail. It comprises approximately 145km of new dual gauge track and 71km of upgraded track from the New South Wales/Queensland border, near Yelarbon, to Gowrie Junction, north west of Toowoomba in Queensland.

This section will connect one of Australia’s most productive farming regions by rail to markets, including to Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide and Perth, more quickly, more reliably, in larger volumes and at a lower cost. This will help producers to be more competitive, opening up more market options for them.



Project status

The project is nearing completion of the reference design development phase. Pending project approval from the Australian and Queensland governments, the reference design will be finalised and the detailed design phase of the project will start.

The B2G preliminary draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) was sent to the Office of the Coordinator-General (OCG) for review in late 2019. The Queensland Coordinator-General will evaluate our preliminary draft EIS document against the terms of reference (ToR) as well as predicted economic and social impacts, and seek formal submissions from landowners and the community later this year. We will keep you informed about the submissions process.

Reference design

The proposed alignment is one element of the reference design. You can view the proposed rail alignment on our interactive map.

Other elements of the reference design include proposed public road and rail crossings, and the project footprint. The project footprint is the area that may be required for the construction and operation of the Inland Rail. The project footprint varies in width to accommodate proposed changes to local roads, earthworks, access tracks and construction material storage and production.

Information from the community and field studies played a key role in determining the proposed alignment. Other considers included the technical viability, safety, operational restrictions, constructability, environment, and community and property impacts.

For more information about the proposed alignment, public road rail crossings and community feedback in your suburb, please read our local area fact sheets and our visualisations.

Condamine floodplain crossing

Since the release of the proposed Condamine floodplain crossing in late 2018, Inland Rail has continued consultation with landowners and key stakeholders to update the flood model and design of the crossing solution.

The flood model has been expanded to incorporate additional local flow paths, in particular within the Back Creek catchment, and has also been validated against the 2013 flood event. We have undertaken further sensitivity testing on the model to determine how inflows from local creeks may impact water levels and velocities in a 1-in-100 (1% Annual Exceedance Probability (AEP) flood event in order to gain more robust results based on local knowledge. We have also included additional data from the Warwick and Cecil Weir stream gauges, as well as anecdotal data of historic flood events prior to 1921, to improve our flood frequency analysis. These updates have allowed improved understanding of flooding behaviour in the Condamine floodplain but have not resulted in significant changes to the overall model or required considerable updates to the crossing design.

The Condamine floodplain crossing design has been updated to incorporate community feedback. Key changes included:

  • extending the proposed bridge over the North Branch by approximately 250m north
  • moving the proposed Yandilla rail bridge further south and combining with the proposed Grasstree Creek bridge
  • increasing the number of proposed culverts near Yandilla grain silos to ensure the drainage channel to the south of the silos has enough culverts to convey flood water.

The proposed Condamine floodplain crossing solution remains within the existing rail corridor, and now comprises:

  • 6 bridges
  • 6.1km total bridge length
  • Approximately 500 culverts (900mm – 2.1m in diameter).

Assessment of the proposed Condamine floodplain crossing solution using the updated flood model indicates that in a 1% AEP event, the solution is likely to change flood behaviour at 23 private properties that already experience some degree of flooding. This includes changes in peak water levels of 10-50 mm at six houses. We are continuing to work with landowners to develop mitigation measures to minimise and manage any changes to flood behaviour.

You can view the floodplain crossing design here.

The proposed Condamine floodplain crossing solution is subject to assessment as part of the EIS process and may change as a result of conditions of approval, further investigations, or detailed design.

Consultation with affected landowners is ongoing.

Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) progress and investigations

Following acceptance of the ToR in 2018, ARTC has been undertaking investigations for the B2G EIS.

An EIS is a tool the government uses to assess:

  • the current environment in the area of the project
  • potential environmental, economic and social impacts of the project
  • proposals to avoid, minimise, mitigate and/or offset those potential impacts.

The B2G team has been gathering on-site information within the project study area. Numerous environmental and technical investigations, including geotechnical surveys, baseline noise monitoring, Indigenous and European cultural heritage surveys, hydrology studies, traffic counts, and fauna and flora surveys have been carried out. Results of these investigations have informed the development of the EIS and project reference design.

To view upcoming investigation works, you can view our latest notification.

Community consultation

Since September 2018, we have engaged with key stakeholders, landowners and the community regarding the development of the reference design and EIS. This engagement centred around the following elements:

  • focused area of investigation
  • alignment development in Millmerran, Millwood and Whetstone
  • Condamine floodplain solution
  • road/rail interface (public road and private crossings)
  • hydrology modelling of catchments across the study area including Gowrie Creek, Westbrook Creek, Pariagara Creek and the Macintyre Brook.
  • social impact assessment
  • noise.

Engagement activities to date have included letters, phone calls and meetings with directly affected landowners, workshops with key stakeholders, community information sessions, a community survey, newsletters, project e-news, interactive map and social media.

You can also contact us during business hours on 1800 732 761 or email us at inlandrailqld@artc.com.au.

Community Consultative Committees (CCC) – Inner and Southern Darling Downs

To find out more click on your local CCC:

Inner Darling Downs CCC

Southern Darling Downs CCC

  • Sponsorship supports much needed community corporation

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    about 2 months ago

    The Panja (Brigalow) Gambuwal Aboriginal Corporation strives to assist in the relief of poverty, sickness, destitution, helplessness, distress, suffering and misfortune among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, through the process of supporting social and economic development.

    Their work includes supporting and providing education, training and employment for their descendants. Panja (Brigalow) Gambuwal Aboriginal Corporation received Inland Rail grant contribution towards setting up an office with equipment to ensure these valuable services can be delivered to our communities.

    The latest round of our Community Sponsorships and Donations program is open until 31 July 2020. Visit our website to apply or...

    The Panja (Brigalow) Gambuwal Aboriginal Corporation strives to assist in the relief of poverty, sickness, destitution, helplessness, distress, suffering and misfortune among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, through the process of supporting social and economic development.

    Their work includes supporting and providing education, training and employment for their descendants. Panja (Brigalow) Gambuwal Aboriginal Corporation received Inland Rail grant contribution towards setting up an office with equipment to ensure these valuable services can be delivered to our communities.

    The latest round of our Community Sponsorships and Donations program is open until 31 July 2020. Visit our website to apply or email IRCommunitySponsorships@ARTC.com.au.

  • Latest works notification

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    about 2 months ago

    Border to Gowrie field investigations are increasing over the coming months. Thanks to the many landowners for their cooperation and permission to access their properties to complete this vital work. The project web page will be updated with the details of relevant contractors as contracts are awarded.

    Terrestrial ecology field survey

    This includes a terrestrial ecology field survey and assessment of the Border to Gowrie project footprint. Works will include conducting protected plant and biosecurity surveys. Winter (July) and Spring (September/ October) field surveys are proposed.

    Geotechnical

    Geotechnical data collection will be active across the corridor for the next year...

    Border to Gowrie field investigations are increasing over the coming months. Thanks to the many landowners for their cooperation and permission to access their properties to complete this vital work. The project web page will be updated with the details of relevant contractors as contracts are awarded.

    Terrestrial ecology field survey

    This includes a terrestrial ecology field survey and assessment of the Border to Gowrie project footprint. Works will include conducting protected plant and biosecurity surveys. Winter (July) and Spring (September/ October) field surveys are proposed.

    Geotechnical

    Geotechnical data collection will be active across the corridor for the next year. Works will include creating access tracks, borehole drilling, auger hole drilling, ground vibration testing, geological mapping surveys, trench pit soil sampling, cone penetration testing. Investigation data will inform detailed design of earthworks and foundations for structures.

    Indigenous Cultural heritage surveys

    These surveys may involve up to 10 workers carrying out walk-throughs.

    Water surveys

    Landowners adjacent to the project alignment will be contacted in coming weeks to clarify our understanding of how their water infrastructure assets (such as bores and dams) collect water. This survey builds on information shared during the focused area of investigation engagement.

    Other activities

    While there are no other field studies or site investigations scheduled there may be a need to undertake further investigations throughout the period. If additional work is required, we will update this notification on the Border to Gowrie project page.

    What to expect

    • white wooden pegs used to mark out investigation sites
    • vehicle and machinery movements in the study area and on local roads
    • machinery left at investigation sites overnight
    • consultants completing ‘walk-throughs’ on private and public land
    • investigations and post-drilling site management within road reserves and the rail corridor (to be undertaken in accordance with Department of Transport and Main Roads, Queensland Rail and council approvals).

    Investigations will be undertaken between 6.30am and 6.30pm, Monday to Sunday, weather permitting.

    If you would like more information about our environmental field studies, please visit inlandrail.artc.com.au/B2G

  • Latest Community Sponsorships and Donations round open

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    3 months ago

    We’re inviting community groups and organisations to apply for round six of the Inland Rail Community Sponsorships and Donations program, which is now open, and runs until 31 July 2020.

    Inland Rail Director of Engagement, Environment and Property Rebecca Pickering said the grants could assist regional communities that have been heavily impacted by COVID-19 social distancing requirements.

    “Delivering Inland Rail is only possible in partnership with the communities in which we operate and supporting our communities’ sustainability is paramount,” Ms Pickering said.

    “A key commitment of Inland Rail is to leave a positive legacy along the rail corridor and the...

    We’re inviting community groups and organisations to apply for round six of the Inland Rail Community Sponsorships and Donations program, which is now open, and runs until 31 July 2020.

    Inland Rail Director of Engagement, Environment and Property Rebecca Pickering said the grants could assist regional communities that have been heavily impacted by COVID-19 social distancing requirements.

    “Delivering Inland Rail is only possible in partnership with the communities in which we operate and supporting our communities’ sustainability is paramount,” Ms Pickering said.

    “A key commitment of Inland Rail is to leave a positive legacy along the rail corridor and the Community Sponsorships and Donations program is just one example of how we ensure regional communities benefit from this unique project.

    “Projects funded represent a diverse range of initiatives such as upgrading community facilities, skills building in the areas of STEM education and inclusive events.

    “In the first three rounds of the program, Inland Rail donated $180,000 toward a range of events, projects and activities along the rail corridor including sporting groups, schools, men’s groups and Indigenous cultural groups, and we want this effort to continue.”

    Ms Pickering said the Australian Government had carefully assessed and prioritised the safe delivery of Inland Rail during the COVID-19 pandemic and ARTC considered programs to support local schools, community groups and associations more important than ever.

    “Because of the impact COVID-19 has had on our communities, we are specifically encouraging applications for projects that increase the capacity to deliver services during the ongoing pandemic or create online STEM programs for students while they are being home-schooled,” she said.

    “Other types of projects we’re looking to support include online literacy education programs for local communities or capital works which can be delivered by local tradespeople.

    “Schools, community groups and associations in regional communities across Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria can view the application criteria to tap into the Inland Rail Community Sponsorships and Donations Program for grants of between $1000 and $4000 on the Inland Rail website.”

    For terms and conditions and to access an application form, please visit inlandrail.artc.com.au/sponsorships or email enquiries to IRCommunitySponsorships@ARTC.com.au.

  • Upcoming works notification

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    3 months ago

    The Border to Gowrie team will be in the field regularly for the rest of the year. We’ll be doing surveys within the study area, including on public land, road reserves and the Queensland Rail corridor. Investigations on private property will be arranged on a voluntary basis with individual landowners. All investigations are weather permitting.

    Works will include:

    Geotechnical site investigations
    Identifying potential locations to carry out geotechnical surveys. Work will involve one vehicle with two people visually inspecting and photographing sites.

    Water surveys
    Landowners in the project footprint will be contacted in coming weeks to discuss water infrastructure (such...

    The Border to Gowrie team will be in the field regularly for the rest of the year. We’ll be doing surveys within the study area, including on public land, road reserves and the Queensland Rail corridor. Investigations on private property will be arranged on a voluntary basis with individual landowners. All investigations are weather permitting.

    Works will include:

    Geotechnical site investigations
    Identifying potential locations to carry out geotechnical surveys. Work will involve one vehicle with two people visually inspecting and photographing sites.

    Water surveys
    Landowners in the project footprint will be contacted in coming weeks to discuss water infrastructure (such as bores and dams) on their properties. This survey builds on information shared during the focused area of investigation engagement and will be used to better understand how water is collected and used on properties.

    Aerial LiDAR surveys
    Ground model survey data will be acquired along the alignment from North Star to Acacia Ridge and Bromelton using an aircraft and aerial laser measurements to create a ground surface model. A twin-engine light commercial aircraft will fly parallel to the proposed rail route. Some survey personnel will carry out ground validation checks from the roadway. This work will be carried out by Inland Rail staff and our contractor AAMGroup.

    Other activities
    If we need to complete further investigations requiring additional work, we will update this notification and upload it to the Border to Gowrie web page. What to expect:

    • light aircraft flying at +600m above the ground, sometimes making multiple flyovers
    • white wooden pegs used to mark out investigation sites
    • vehicle and machinery movements in the study area and on local roads
    • machinery left at investigation sites overnight
    • consultants completing ‘walkovers’ on private and public land.

    Investigations will be undertaken between 6.30am and 6.30pm, Monday to Sunday, weather permitting. For more information, check out the latest works notification.

  • Community consultative committee update

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    3 months ago

    The ninth meeting of the Inner Darling Downs Community Consultative Committee was held online on 5 May 2020. The meeting, chaired by Bill Armagnacq, saw 13 of the 15 committee members attend. Representatives from the federal, state and local government agencies and one elected representative, observed the meeting.

    Committee member Rob Loch, representing the Pittsworth District Landcare Association, summarised a meeting involving several committee members and representatives from Future Freight Joint Venture to discuss technical aspects of the project’s soils and groundwater studies.

    Members received project updates for Border to Gowrie and Gowrie to Helidon, including information on upcoming geotechnical...

    The ninth meeting of the Inner Darling Downs Community Consultative Committee was held online on 5 May 2020. The meeting, chaired by Bill Armagnacq, saw 13 of the 15 committee members attend. Representatives from the federal, state and local government agencies and one elected representative, observed the meeting.

    Committee member Rob Loch, representing the Pittsworth District Landcare Association, summarised a meeting involving several committee members and representatives from Future Freight Joint Venture to discuss technical aspects of the project’s soils and groundwater studies.

    Members received project updates for Border to Gowrie and Gowrie to Helidon, including information on upcoming geotechnical investigations and our efforts to gain a more thorough understanding of water assets (such as bores and dams) on properties.

    The next Inner Darling Downs Community Consultative Committee meeting will likely be held online (until COVID-19 restrictions are reduced) in late June.

    A full version of the Chair’s summary is available here.

    The Southern Darling Downs Community Consultative Committee has requested the Office of the Coordinator-General (OCG) participate in a meeting to explain the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) process.

    The OCG has agreed to this request and will participate in a committee meeting closer to the public exhibition period for the Border to Gowrie EIS. The OCG will explain the EIS process, how communities can make a submission to the OCG and how submissions will be considered by the OCG. It will not present on the specific elements of the Border to Gowrie EIS.

    If you have any questions you would like raised at a committee meeting or to follow up meeting discussions, please contact any of the committee members via the relevant committee webpage.

  • Inland Rail care packs find a new purpose

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    3 months ago

    Last month we handed over 500 care packs to services along the alignment, including 110 packs to Toowoomba Meals on Wheels volunteers.

    Before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, we were preparing giveaways of hand sanitiser, lip balm and sunscreen for visitors to Inland Rail stands during this year’s Southern Queensland regional show season. But with no shows, we wanted to put our merchandise to good use and arranged for these items to be bundled into care packs instead.

    Through our involvement with the Care Army in Toowoomba we saw that Meals on Wheels were still open and reached out to see...

    Last month we handed over 500 care packs to services along the alignment, including 110 packs to Toowoomba Meals on Wheels volunteers.

    Before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, we were preparing giveaways of hand sanitiser, lip balm and sunscreen for visitors to Inland Rail stands during this year’s Southern Queensland regional show season. But with no shows, we wanted to put our merchandise to good use and arranged for these items to be bundled into care packs instead.

    Through our involvement with the Care Army in Toowoomba we saw that Meals on Wheels were still open and reached out to see if the packs could be used to help protect volunteers continuing their invaluable community work.

    Meals on Wheels Coordinator Brenda Tarlinton said Toowoomba residents had been stepping up to ensure the region’s elderly and vulnerable were being cared for.

    “Thankfully, many of our supported runs have now returned to us here and we now have a wonderful list of volunteers on our on-call roster thanks to everyone within Toowoomba’s Care Army,” she said. “We were able to continue our deliveries throughout the worst of the lock-downs when many of our volunteers were asked to remain home due to health and age restrictions.”