The project was declared a ‘coordinated project’ by the Coordinator-General (CG) in 2018.
The project’s draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) was submitted to the CG for review in late 2019.
The Border to Gowrie draft EIS public display commenced on Saturday 23 January 2021 and concluded on Tuesday 4 May 2021.
For more information about the project’s EIS and next steps, visit the CG’s website.
The Border to Gowrie project also requires approval under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cwlth) (EPBC Act) before it can proceed.
To learn more about the Border to Gowrie project’s EIS, please view the CG’s website:
Environment planning and approvals
The Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is a tool the government uses to assess the project environment and evaluate any potential environmental, economic, and social impacts and examine our proposals to avoid, minimise, mitigate and/or offset those potential impacts.
The project’s draft EIS, which was submitted to the Queensland Coordinator-General (CG) for review in late 2019, was released for public notification and comment by the CG on Saturday 23 January 2021 and closed on Tuesday 4 May 2021.
During this time, the community and key stakeholders were invited to view and make a submission to the CG on the draft EIS.
The CG will now evaluate the draft EIS against public submissions and feedback from advisory agencies and may request further information be addressed by ARTC in a revised draft EIS for consideration.
If deemed adequate, the CG will accept the EIS as final and release the evaluation report stating recommendations and conditions of approval.
We have undertaken extensive field studies to gain an understanding of the environmental features, technical challenges and opportunities.
These have included:
- geotechnical and ecological surveys – to gather information about soil, rock and native habitats
- hydrology studies – to examine historical and predicted flooding and surface water movements
- noise, air quality and vibration surveys – to measure current and operational levels at key project sites
- utility identification surveys – to identify infrastructure such as gas and water pipelines
- land and heritage surveys – to identify property boundaries and investigate any evidence of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal artefacts and heritage
Site investigations, environmental assessments and field studies will continue to occur as we consult with landowners, councils and other key stakeholders. Field investigations and surveys will occur 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.
Crossing the Condamine floodplain
Since the release of the proposed Condamine floodplain crossing model and design in late 2018, we have continued consulting with landowners and key stakeholders to update the flood model and crossing design.
The flood model has been expanded to include additional local flow paths, in particular within the Back Creek catchment, and has been validated against the 2013 flood event.
Works have included:
- conducting further tests to determine how inflows from local creeks may impact water levels and velocities in a rare flood event
- improving our flood frequency analysis using additional data from the Warwick and Cecil Weir stream gauges
- gathering anecdotal data of historic flood events prior to 1921.
While this work has improved our understanding, it has not resulted in any significant changes to the overall floodplain model or required us to make considerable updates to the crossing design.
Local community feedback has informed the proposed Condamine floodplain crossing design. The proposed design remains within the existing rail corridor, and includes:
- building six bridges (6.1km total bridge length)
- constructing approximately 500 culverts (900mm – 2.1m in diameter)
- 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 the Yandilla grain silos to ensure the drainage channel to the south of the silos has enough culverts to convey flood water.
Assessment of the proposed Condamine floodplain crossing design indicates that in a 1% Annual Exceedance Probability (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.
The proposed Condamine floodplain crossing design is subject to assessment as part of the draft Environmental Impact Statement process and may change as a result of conditions of approval, further investigations, or detailed design.
Consultation with affected landowners is ongoing.
October 21, 2021
Millmerran students try a trade
Twenty Millmerran students had the opportunity to try their hand at rail skills, electrical work and bricklaying at a skills development workshop held on 6 October 2021 at Millmerran State School.
September 3, 2021
All Aboard for Hope a roaring success
Hope Horizons Cancer Wellness Centre has provided free allied health services to more than 500 cancer patients and their carers from Toowoomba and surrounds during its three years of operation. We were proud to support their recent Gatsby-themed event, All Aboard for Hope, to raise awareness and funds for this vital service.
September 3, 2021
Sketching out the Inland Rail Delivery Strategy
In September 2020, we announced the Inland Rail Delivery Strategy. This included a change to our procurement process to make it more collaborative, projects smaller and less complicated, and with more opportunities for industry to participate.