The route chosen for the Queensland section of the Melbourne to Brisbane inland rail line will have massive impacts on local landholders and some of the best agricultural land in the country, AgForce said.
AgForce Grains President Wayne Newton added his voice to the chorus of concern about the route chosen for the inland rail.
“AgForce is supportive of new infrastructure projects and we are very keen to ensure transport costs for agricultural produce are kept down to help us maintain our export competitiveness,” he said.
“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 regards to overland flows.
“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,” he said.
Mr Newton said local farmers would also be concerned about access issues and the impacts on productivity and profitability.
“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?” Mr Newton asked.
“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.”