The Condamine Floodplain lands are in focus again as the State and Federal Government liaise to hatch a plan to fast track the inland rail project.
The news this week that the State Government is planning to exchange hunks of the south west Queensland rail network to the Federal Government for infrastructure spending is setting the scene for a battle with key Downs farmers.
The Premier confirmed this week that talks are underway and well advanced for the hand over which would include sections of the productive floodplain and means that other options such as directing the new line along the existing Warwick rail corridor or the forestry country west of Millmerran and Cecil Plains have been ruled out.
It is expected funding for the Queensland section of the project will eb announced in next Tuesdays’ Federal Budget with the actual route connecting Yelarbon, Millmerran, Brookstead and Wyreema and linking in Wellcamp airport likely to be announced within months.
Local farmers are concerned that that the construction of a long rail line on top of a 2m high levy bank would have a major impact on flood flows.
Southern Downs mayor Tracy Dobie says the views of locals is clear.
“The Millmerran community does not want this project, the Warwick community does. Cost is one thing but there are many other considerations. The existing Warwick rail corridor is the best route.”