Labor, PM on collision course over rail corridor
THE Queensland Government is calling on Prime Minister Scott Morrison to agree to a list of terms in regards to the Inland Rail project and back families in Brisbane's south and Logan.
Member for Algester Leeanne Enoch, who has been campaigning alongside residents for over two years, has started a petition to show the Coalition Government that the State Government and the community "won't be taken advantage of".
"Until we have a solution as to how freight will reach the Port of Brisbane and the Salisbury to Beaudesert passenger line is complete, coal trains need to stay on the existing line, and freight containers should stay single stacked," Ms Enoch told the Southern Star exclusively.
The freight trains will run past homes, businesses, parks and schools and locals are worried about the long-term health risks of exposure to coal dust and the constant noise and vibration from the 24/7 transportation cycle.
"This is what many people in my community have been calling for, and this is what the premier has sought from the Prime Minister.
"It is also why I have started a petition, calling for our community's concerns to be heard.
"It makes sense to upgrade the rail corridor for freight and passenger services at the same time."
Ms Enoch said it was time for the Federal Government to step up and respond to the concerns local residents had raised about the $10 billion Inland Rail realignment.
Every week, up to 40 freight trains use the existing railway line that runs through Parkinson, Algester and Acacia Ridge, as well as suburbs in Logan.
By 2040, that number of trains will travel along the route every day. That will include an average of 12 trains a day carrying coal.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Minister for Transport and Main Roads Mark Bailey have laid out terms to Prime Minister Scott Morrison and put Inland Rail at the centre of transport funding negotiations.
"Minister Enoch has been a great advocate for her community on Inland Rail," Minister Bailey said.
"She has continuously called for residents to be properly consulted by the Australian Rail Track Corporation, so we get the best outcome for the community."
While the Prime Minister considers Queensland's request, Ms Enoch is encouraging locals to show their support by signing a petition, which will be sent to the Federal Government.
A jointly-funded $1.5 million feasibility study is being undertaken for improved rail freight connections to the Port of Brisbane.
Residents want the State and Federal governments to have the Australian Rail Track Corporation declare the Kagaru to Acacia Ridge and Bromelton section of the 1700km interstate rail line a co-ordinated project, triggering an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).
The Prime Minister's office has been contacted for comment.
People can access and sign the petition here.