We know that we are bringing big changes to many communities, and that you may be worried about what these changes mean for you.
Your concerns are important to us. We’ve been working hard to investigate the issues raised with us by landowners and community members.
Comments from community members have helped to identify areas for further investigation by independent third parties; some of which have led to alterations in our modelling and design.
While we are confident in the processes in place to ensure any risks or community impacts are addressed as Inland Rail progresses, we are always open to your feedback and here to listen to your concerns.
Each Inland Rail project has its own issues and concerns. Some of the most common impacts we are addressing include:
Noise and vibration
We acknowledge the operation and maintenance of Inland Rail will have noise impacts for local communities. We aim to minimise noise through project planning, track formation and reducing the extent of track curves.
We are completing studies to assess the level of noise likely to be experienced at individual properties and measuring existing noise levels at locations throughout the project area. This data will inform modelling for future operations.
Where it is likely that we will exceed allowable noise levels, we will work with impacted residents to develop appropriate mitigation measures. These might include noise walls or at-property treatments. It is not always possible to find solutions that perfectly suit everyone, but it is our commitment to work with those residents to find the best available solutions in line with the practical limitations we face.
During construction of Inland Rail, there will be temporary and localised noise and vibration impacts in specific areas. Our contractors will notify the community about construction prior to and during any high intensity noisy works, night works or 24-hour construction periods.
We are committed to minimising any temporary air quality impacts on nearby communities which may be caused by:
- dust or emissions from earthworks and construction activities
- gas from diesel combustion of construction train exhausts
- dust from construction cargo and movement of train wagons on the tracks
- dust or emissions from operational maintenance activities.
We will carry out all project work in accordance with relevant air quality legislation and guidelines.
Flora and fauna
Minimising the impact of Inland Rail on native plants and animals (flora and fauna) is vital.
We work with ecologists to carry out flora and fauna surveys and ensure the following measures are considered during the design of Inland Rail:
- avoiding sensitive ecological areas, such as native vegetation and threatened species habitats
- considering fauna habitat connectivity and fauna exclusion fencing
- implementing fauna-sensitive design and rehabilitation around waterway crossings.
We will investigate and identify biodiversity offsets in line with relevant state and federal government legislation where there are potentially significant impacts.
We will work with our contractors to develop project-specific environmental management plans. This includes measures to mitigate flora and fauna impacts during construction.
Protecting Aboriginal culture and heritage
Inland Rail will be built and operated on the traditional lands of many Indigenous nations and their communities.
We’re committed to achieving excellence in cultural heritage and we recognise Aboriginal people’s inherent connection to the land.
We are working with traditional owner groups along the route to develop cultural heritage management plans that provide a framework for the preservation and protection of cultural heritage objects, sites and places.
Where areas of Aboriginal cultural heritage are identified, we work with Aboriginal groups to determine what appropriate steps to take to record and preserve these artefacts.
A vital part of attending to the needs of the landscape is weed management. Weed hygiene is a biosecurity measure to protect people and animals against harmful biological or biochemical substances.
Each state Inland Rail passes through has specific legislation in place for the management of declared and noxious weed species.
Our teams, including contractors, carry out work in accordance with legislation and any agreements with state and local governments and individual landowners.
Inland Rail will traverse both rural and urban environments and cross agricultural lands, rural communities and bushland.
Refinements to the design and construction of Inland Rail are informed by considering the landscape and its natural features and existing rail infrastructures.
Landscaping is determined in consultation with the community during various stages of the project. To ensure we meet the community’s expectations around the visual design of the landscape, we adopt strategies including:
- visual screening
- landform contouring
- habitat restoration
The Inland Rail Intergovernmental Agreement for Queensland between the State and Federal Governments has a provision that coal trains won’t run on Inland Rail along the Kagaru to Acacia Ridge project alignment until construction of the Salisbury to Beaudesert passenger line commences, which is still a number of years away, or another time as agreed by governments.
While Inland Rail will not increase the number of coal trains travelling to the Port of Brisbane, it will create an alternative route option. This will allow coal trains to divert from the current route on the West Moreton Line and travel via new suburbs and towns, including the Scenic Rim and Logan areas in Queensland. Residents living close to Inland Rail may be worried about the potential for trains to generate dust. Some of the concerns expressed to us have been around coal dust and the associated impacts to health, such as respiratory ailments; impacts to homes, including dust landing on outdoor furniture; and the possibility of dust entering water tanks.
As the operator of Inland Rail, ARTC will require its customers transporting coal to manage their air emissions, including coal dust, in accordance with the Queensland Government’s legislative requirements.
Currently, this responsibility is shared between the mine operators and coal transportation companies and includes:
- veneering of coal loads (the application of a bio-degradable polymer onto the surface of the coal to provide a significant reduction in the release of coal dust)
- profiling loads to reduce the potential for dust to escape
- washing wagons after unloading to prevent residual dust remaining.
We take our environmental responsibility very seriously. ARTC undertakes monitoring of coal dust from both full and empty coal trains across its network in response to community concerns and will continue to do so when Inland Rail is operational.
Find out about our commitment to sustainability
We aim to deliver and operate Inland Rail with the least environmental, cultural heritage and social impact possible, while providing new benefits to the people of Australia at a local, regional and national scale.
October 23, 2020
October 2020 project update for Stockinbingal to Parkes
Inland Rail has appointed engineering consultancy WSP Australia to deliver the reference and detailed design and accompanying approvals documentation for the Stockinbingal to Parkes project.
October 23, 2020
October 2020 project update for Illabo to Stockinbingal
We will continue site investigations across October and November and hold meetings with landowners and key stakeholders about the flood study.
October 23, 2020
Catching up with the CWA
Earlier this month we joined the Goondiwindi Queensland Country Women’s Association (CWA) at their first meeting back since the COVID-19 pandemic. Armed with bottled water and sunscreen for all, we joined the group at the Goondiwindi and District Community Garden where they will soon take over two garden beds.