AgForce has hit out at today’s announcement of the chosen route for the Queensland section of the Melbourne to Brisbane inland rail line.
AgForce Grains President Wayne Newton says local farmers will now have to be concerned about access issues and the impacts on productivity and profitability.
“Nation building projects like the inland rail will be good for Australia and create jobs in regional areas, but they must not compromise our best farming land like the Condamine floodplain.”
Mr Newton said AgForce wanted assurances that any infrastructure across the floodplain would not adversely affect landholders, especially in regard to overland flows.
Mr Newton says there’s many questions that now need an answer.
“Any impact on water moving naturally across the floodplain is a major concern as water is very hard to predict. This infrastructure must not only be able to stand up to floods like the one in 2010, but also not cause a raft of unintended consequences.”
“When farmers have their blocks dissected, how will they get large farming machinery from one side to the other? Will they have to drive 10 kilometres to safely cross the track?”
“How will local landholders be compensated not just for the loss of the land, but also the overall negative impacts on their businesses?”
“There are so many unanswered questions that landholders need answers to before work starts on this major project.”