North Star to NSW/Queensland Border section update February 2023

ARTC Inland Rail has received environmental approval from the NSW Minister for Planning to progress the North Star to NSW/ Queensland Border project.

February 28, 2023

Existing rail track and rail bridge within the North Star to NSW/Qld border project

North Star to NSW/Queensland Border project gets the green light from NSW Government

ARTC Inland Rail has received environmental approval from the NSW Minister for Planning to progress the North Star to NSW/ Queensland Border project.

The project has now been referred to the Australian Government Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water for consideration under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

You can view the Notice of Decision and the Project’s Conditions of Approval on the NSW Government website.

Construction of the new Inland Rail track connecting North Star to NSW/Queensland Border will only proceed once environmental approval is granted.

Project overview

The North Star to NSW/Queensland Border (NS2B) project consists of upgrading approximately 27km of non-operational rail corridor and constructing 12km of new track. This includes approximately 30km in NSW and 9km in Queensland.

While the NSW section of NS2B has received State environmental approval, the 9km section of rail in Queensland will be considered as part of the environmental approvals phase for the NSW/Queensland Border to Gowrie (B2G) project.

What’s next?

In 2021, ARTC announced Laing O’Rourke Queensland (LORQ) as the preferred contractor for the civil works component of the Project.

Over the coming months, ARTC Inland Rail will continue to work with Laing O’Rourke Queensland to develop the project’s detailed design, conduct low impact site investigations and surveys, including geotechnical surveys, to better understand ground conditions.

As we approach final statutory approvals we will continue to consult with the community and be there to answer your questions and hear your concerns. Our Goondiwindi office , located at 116 Marshall Street, is open every weekday if you want to pop by for a chat or sign up to our e-newsletter via the website.

To learn more about upcoming project activity, visit the status page.

What’s happening in the field?

Laing O’Rourke and its specialist subcontractors continue with site investigations, including geotechnical investigations, land surveys, and utility service identification along the rail corridor between North Star and Whalan Creek.

Since the investigations commenced in January, the team have completed several bore holes along the Bruxner Highway.

The bore holes, which are up to 30m deep, are drilled to extract core samples which help to determine ground conditions in the project area. This data is used to inform the detailed design for bridge and drainage structures.

Geotechnical investigations are expected to continue until mid-June 2023. The works will be undertaken between 7am to 6pm Monday to Saturday, with occasional work on Sundays (subject to project approvals).

Utility service identification

Through January and February, the identification of utility services has been underway along North Star Road, Bruxner Highway and Tucka Tucka Road, Boggabilla.

This work involves identifying existing power poles and infrastructure, locating and mapping the telecommunication lines and existing water mains.

Fine weather and clear skies have enabled excellent progress with the utility services subcontractor completing most of their investigations.

Caring for the environment

Caring for the environment is key to planning and undertaking field investigations. The team ensure work areas are safe environments for local fauna and flora.

Accompanied by flora and fauna spotters, a range of local wildlife have been identified including the Eastern Spiny-tailed Gecko, Spotted Marsh Frog, turtles, snakes and wild pigs. The Spotted Marsh Frog (pictured) was captured and relocated to an area that will not be disturbed by the investigation activities.

You can view the latest works notifications on the NS2B project page.

February 28, 2023