THE STRETCH of Inland Rail track connecting Queensland and NSW has received environmental approval from the government.

The Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water approved the environmental impact statement for the North Star to New South Wales/Queensland Border section.

The EIS assessed the environmental requirements under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

The ARTC Inland Rail team welcomed approval of the North Star to Border section as another step on the approval pathway.

“The North Star to New South Wales/Queensland Border project consists of upgrading approximately 27 kilometres of non-operational rail corridor and constructing 12 kilometres of new track,” it said in a statement.

“This includes approximately 30 kilometres in New South Wales and nine kilometres in Queensland.”

While the approvals for the NSW section of the project are now complete, the nine-kilometre section of rail in Queensland is still being considered by the Queensland state government’s Office of the Coordinator General as part of the separate Border to Gowrie EIS process.

“Activities to secure the land required for the North Star to New South Wales/Queensland Border corridor and inform the design of the project are continuing, including land and geotechnical surveys,” the Inland Rail team said.

“Future construction north of Narromine will only proceed once all necessary approvals have been gained, to provide sufficient certainty that the Inland Rail project can be built to an agreed budget and timeframe.”