Couple to spend 65th anniversary at Inland Rail inquiry
TODAY is Ted and Margaret Kelly's 65th wedding anniversary - a day that the couple would rather to have spent celebrating with family and friends.
Instead, they will be in Millmerran, fronting the Senate Inquiry into the management of the Inland Rail project.
The couple has spent their whole married life in Pampas.
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They've seen floods and the damage that can be done.
And they will be telling the Senate Inquiry how they feel the Inland Rail project will affect the flow of floodwaters along the Condamine floodplain.
Mrs Kelly fears the use of culverts in an embankment across parts of the floodplain will make future floods worse.
"If the water can't get through … if it has to find its way through culverts instead of being able to flow through freely, we feel its going to hold water back," she said.
"And then when the water does find its way to the northern side - if its only culverts - there's going to be an awful lot of erosion when it does come through the culverts."
She also said she was worried the impact moving the railway crossing further west would have on traffic in the area.
"We're not people wanting to be shown in the limelight but we just feel this is important," Mrs Kelly said.
Australian Rail Track Corporation's Inland Rail Project CEO Richard Wankmuller said the Senate Inquiry was an important opportunity to hear different perspectives about the project.
"We do an extensive amount of modelling and designing to minimise impacts on landowners and communities and to make sure the public is safe," he said.
"This Inquiry will help us to explain the work we have done and are doing and we appreciate the opportunity to do so."
The Inland Rail's crossing of the Condamine Floodplain has proven a contentious issue for ARTC.
Australian Rail Track Corporation has engaged a number of expert flood modellers and hydrologists to develop the models that inform design solutions for Inland Rail crossing floodplains, rivers and significant watercourses.
The models have also benefited from being calibrated against historical data and records, many supplied by landowners living and working on properties that lie within floodplains.
An independent panel of experts is to be established to review Inland Rail's proposed structures for crossing floodplains as part of the Intergovernmental Agreement with Queensland signed in November.