Independent International Panel of Experts for Flood Studies in Queensland

The Australian and Queensland governments have agreed to establish an Independent International Panel of Experts (the Panel) for flood studies to provide advice to the Commonwealth and Queensland Governments on the flood models and structural designs being developed by the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) for Inland Rail in Queensland against industry best practice for the design of structures in a floodplain environment.

The Panel is proposed to:

  • provide assurance for Inland Rail’s engineering solutions,
  • review existing modelling and structural designs,
  • take account of local geology and hydrology patterns,
  • ensure the highest level of public safety assurance for Inland Rail.

Terms of Reference

Draft Terms of Reference (TOR) for the Panel were made available for public consultation in April 2020. Consultation on the Draft TORs closed 11 May 2020. 

The Australian and Queensland governments are currently considering the feedback from stakeholders and will finalise the Terms of Reference shortly. The membership and arrangements for the Panel will be announced once the Terms of Reference are final. 

Establishment of the Panel

The Australian and Queensland governments are considering possible members for the Panel.

To be considered for the Panel, individuals will have demonstrated technical expertise in one or more skill areas such as climatology, geomorphology, hydrology modelling, river hydraulics, floodplain management, flood risk assessment and structural designs in a flood-prone area.

Flood modelling review

The five project sections of Inland Rail extending from the Queensland border to Brisbane have undergone extensive assessments. ARTC has undertaken significant work to develop the flood models and crossing designs for Inland Rail including for:

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

The existing ARTC flood models and reference designs will now be assessed by the Panel to ensure industry best practice has been used in the development of flood models and structural designs for the floodplain crossings in Queensland.   

The Panel will focus on identifying whether, and to what level, industry best practice has been applied to modelling techniques and outputs that created the existing flood models and reference designs for the crossings.

The Panel’s reports, when final, will be made publicly available and may also be used to inform the Queensland Coordinator General’s assessment of the Inland Rail Environmental Impact Assessments.