A preliminary design for the Inland Rail project’s Condamine floodplain crossing in southern Queensland has been released and will be presented to communities in the region over the next two weeks.
The draft proposal for the crossing was first presented by the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) to the Southern Darling Downs Community Consultative Committee (CCC) at Brookstead on Wednesday.
Inland Rail project director for the North Star to Gowrie section, Rob McNamara, said that numerous design options and their potential impact on flood levels and water behaviour at individual properties within the floodplain had been examined.
“Our preliminary design was selected because it minimises impacts downstream and upstream and has minimal impact on existing water flows,” McNamara said.
ARTC consultatants developed a flood model that was used to assess design options for the crossing of the floodplain.
“A detailed flood model of the Condamine floodplain catchment area has been developed using data from different sources, including Toowoomba Regional Council, the Bureau of Meteorology and government databases,” McNamara said.
“We then undertook a program of validating the flood modelling through meeting with individual landholders on-farm to discuss historic flood events and property flood markers.”
The initial presentation to the Darling Downs CCCl is to be followed by a further two weeks of information sessions across the Darling Downs to communicate details about the crossing proposal with local community members.
“We will be presenting the preliminary design to the wider community to give them the opportunity to provide feedback. We want as much feedback as possible and I really encourage people to come to our sessions in November, so they understand how the Condamine floodplain crossing is taking shape,” said McNamara.
Federal infrastructure and transport minister Michael McCormack said that both ARTC and the government were taking steps to ensure communities in the region were listened to and engaged with the planning process for the route.
“Last year the Australian Government made a firm commitment to communities in the Darling Downs to focus on the floodplain crossing as a priority and we’ve followed through on that pledge,” McCormack said.
“After months of consultation and work with landowners and stakeholders, a preliminary design has now been presented to the community for their feedback on a workable solution.
“Over the next two weeks, the ARTC will be presenting this preliminary design proposal to the wider community and I encourage everyone to participate in this process.”