Independent International Panel of Experts for Flood Studies of Inland Rail in Queensland

On 7 October 2022 the Australian and Queensland governments released the Final Report of the Independent International Panel of Experts for Flood Studies of Inland Rail in Queensland (the Panel).

The Panel’s Report includes six recommendations to assist the Australian Rail Track Corporation in its further design and delivery of the Inland Rail program. The Report is the culmination of more than two years of detailed assessment, undertaken by the panel of five:

The Panel’s Final Report builds on their earlier draft reports and finds that the flood models developed by ARTC are: fit for purpose, in accordance with national guidelines and industry best practice, and account for the impacts of the reference designs.

In reviewing the work by ARTC, including flood models, Reference Designs and responses to issues raised in the draft reports, in its Final Report the Panel notes the substantial amount of work undertaken by ARTC to identify existing flooding characteristics and to assess and mitigate potential impacts associated with each of the project sections.

The Final Report and further information about the panel, including the panel members, Terms of Reference and draft flood panel reports can be found on the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads website.

Background

Following initial consultation on the purpose and terms of reference in May 2020, the Australian and Queensland governments established an Independent International Panel of Experts (the Panel) for flood studies in June 2020 to provide advice on flood modelling and structural designs developed by ARTC for Inland Rail in Queensland.

Chaired by Mark Babister, WMAwater, the Panel applied their expert knowledge to the review of 21 flood models developed for river and floodplain crossings along 400 kilometres of Inland Rail in southern Queensland. A full list of models considered by the Panel is available at Attachment B of the Terms of Reference.

The Panel focussed on identifying whether, and to what extent, national and state guidelines and industry best practice were applied to modelling techniques and outputs that created existing flood models in the core areas of: extent, assumptions, application and interpretation.

The panel members have a combined experience of more than 130 years in the movement of water across landscapes (hydrology), the way in which artificial structures interact with the movement of this water (hydraulics) and best practice construction in floodplain environments.

Terms of Reference [374KB PDF]

Draft Reports

The Panel worked independently of ARTC to assess modelling and develop draft reports that could support public engagement in relevant approval processes and consideration of Inland Rail Draft Environmental Impact Statements.

The Panel released draft reports via the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads website for the following sections:

  • Calvert to Kagaru – February 2021
  • Border to Gowrie – March 2021
  • Helidon to Calvert – June 2021
  • Gowrie to Helidon – August 2021

Flood modelling and previous reviews

The Panel's review builds on years of work by world leading companies and the ARTC to develop flood models and reference designs for Inland Rail.

Across the alignment ARTC’s flood modelling is being developed, tested and reviewed by leading International and Australian engineering and hydrology consultants including AECOM, Aureon, Arup Group, SMEC and Water Solutions Pty Ltd.

Find out more about Inland Rail including its design, individual construction projects and community consultation from the ARTC.