THE controversial $14.5 billion Inland Rail project appears set to terminate at North Star, 40km south of the Queensland/NSW border in the wake of Labor's likely federal election win.
The pause in the major infrastructure project is a pre-election commitment by federal Labor, which said three weeks out from the national poll that there were concerns about the escalating cost of the 1700km line.
Inland Rail has been promoted as a nation building project, linking the Port of Melbourne and the Port of Brisbane with a high speed rail to carry freight.
The Coalition Government also proposed extending Inland Rail from Toowoomba to Gladstone, via Miles on Queensland's Western Downs.
In addition to cost blow-outs, the project has come under repeated fire for the negative impacts it would have on agricultural land and rural communities living trackside.
Millmerran Rail Group chairman Wes Judd said he wasn't surprised by Labor's decision to review Inland Rail.
"Farmers on the Condamine River floodplain have always argued that Inland Rail is on the wrong track, at least in Queensland," Mr Judd said.
"There are better and more obvious solutions than routing Inland Rail across this floodplain and potentially wrecking some of the best farming land in Queensland.
"If they want Inland Rail to go to Toowoomba, then the most obvious route is using the existing rail network already owned by the Queensland Government which already links Goondiwindi and Toowoomba, via Warwick.
"The other obvious solution is to use a route involving mainly forest country to the west, that would have minimal impact on farmland.
"Everyone supports Inland Rail. But for goodness sake, let's get it right."
Charlton farmer Tim Durre said he supported terminating Inland Rail at Goondiwindi, which is about 40km north of North Star.
"The creation of a freight hub and a major, long overdue upgrade of the Gore Highway, which links Goondiwindi and Toowoomba, would provide excellent access to Brisbane using the Toowoomba Range Crossing," Mr Durre said.
"As it stands Inland Rail in Queensland is a greenfield project that has to deal with crossing floodplains, cutting through farms, building a tunnel to get down the Toowoomba range, finding its way through the Lockyer food bowl and wrecking communities like Ivory's Rock.
"There has to be better outcomes than what is currently being proposed because what is being planned now is just unworkable."
Under the current plan, Mr Durre's irrigation farm would be destroyed by Inland Rail.
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