Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack will talk with Millmerran farmers about the Inland Rail route, today.
Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack will talk with Millmerran farmers about the Inland Rail route, today.

Farmers take their inland rail case to the Deputy PM

FARMERS near Millmerran hope a key meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack tomorrow in Sydney will see the Federal Government rule out the $10b Inland Rail project crossing the Condamine Floodplain.

The meeting is expected to include Deputy Prime Minister and Federal Transport Minister Michael McCormack, Maranoa MP and Agriculture Minister David Littleproud, Groom MP John McVeigh and Senator Susan McDonald.

Millmerran Rail Group chairman Wes Judd, along with hydrologist Dr Sharmil Markar and a representative of Millmerran egg farmers DA Hall and Co will head to Sydney for the meeting.

Farmers have long feared Inland Rail's crossing of the Condamine Floodplain would effectively create a dam in the event of a flood.

ARTC is working on extensive hydrological modelling of the floodplain, in an effort to build a picture of water flows which will in turn inform the line's design.

But there are still parts of the modelling that are not lining up with landholders' experience of past floods.

ARTC has said that is of concern, but is continuing to work on the modelling.

Mr Judd said landholders had been telling ARTC and the Federal Government for years the route selection was flawed and flooding would be exacerbated.

In parliament on Thursday, Mr Littleproud said he had concerns about the current route.

"This meeting is critical. Our lives and our livelihoods are on hold," Mr Judd said.

"We want answers, not excuses.

"We hope next week's meeting will categorically rule out the Condamine River floodplain routes.

"We believe the Yelarbon to Gowrie route options via Millmerran and Mount Tyson or via Karara, Leyburn and Felton are too risky."

Mr Judd said ARTC has had years to get the modelling right, and it took engaging an independent hydrologist to expose the route's flaws.



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