THE $10-billion Inland Rail route across south east Queensland will be reviewed, after the federal government bowed to community pressure.
The current route crosses 16 kilometres of the Condamine floodplain with multiple bridges, banks and culverts, which many say will drastically change the way water flows across the region, putting properties, businesses and lives at risk from flooding.
The government asked the Australian Rail Track Corporation to investigate a route further west, which would require only six kilometres of floodplain crossing.
Deputy Prime Minister and Infrastructure Minister Michael McCormack made the announcement on Tuesday.
"I have asked for an immediate review of the forestry route against the selected route to assess its ability to meet the business case requirements such as transit time, reliability, cost competitiveness and availability," Mr McCormack said.
"The purpose of this review is to reassure the community that all potential routes have been duly and thoroughly considered and the Australian government's significant investment in this nation-building infrastructure is well placed."
The review's timeline is yet to be revealed.
Federal Agriculture Minister and Maranoa MP David Littleproud has been a vocal critic of the proposed route through his electorate.
"The route that has been chosen, I have serious issues around the hydrology of that," Mr Littleproud said.
"[ARTC] predicated it without having an engineering solution to going across one of the most complex floodplains in Australia."
Mr Littleproud said if the issues with this section of the project weren't resolved, it could hold up the entire 1700km development.
"We are going headlong into a long-term legal battle through the court that will hold up Inland Rail," Mr Littleproud said.
Bongeen farmer takes on Inland Rail debate
Bongeen district farmer John Cameron, Kintyre, believes that moving the proposed Inland Rail route will not fix the problem and in fact will make flooding over the Condamine Plains worse.
"The fight over where the rail line should be placed is because the Brisbane to Melbourne freight line has become the Brisbane-Toowoomba to Melbourne line, and needs to cross the Condamine floodplains," Mr Cameron said.
"The situation is, we had a proposed design where we had the forest solution, which is pushing the crossing approximately 30 to 40 kilometres further downstream towards Cecil Plains."
Mr Cameron said the overland floodplain is 10 times more fragile than the flow of the Condamine River itself.
"To say there it's only 6km is wrong, there is 35 to 40 kilometres of floodplain," he said.
"Some of this country is part of the Condamine River floodplains, while the balance is the natural overland flood flow on the inner Darling Downs."
Mr Cameron was quick to point out the accepted management strategy of overland flow is not to have any structure over 150 millimetres over the plains. He said this allows the water to flow over the top of any infrastructure.
The design of the proposed railway is west to east and the floodwaters hits at a 45 degree angle from south west to north west.
He said the previous railway line from Mt Tyson to Cecil Plains was abandoned some 30 years ago as it was difficult to maintain, so moving the route did not fix the problem.
"There is a fixation somewhere that this line should cross the Condamine Plains and if that happens we will be part of the issue here at Kintyre," he said
"After all the modelling and design that has been done of the proposed route, we will have to start again as we still have all the flood modelling that we have now."