On 5 September 2022, the following matter was referred to the Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee for inquiry and report by 10 August 2023.
The project known as the Iron Boomerang, with particular reference to:
a) the employment likely to result from the project during construction and once completed;
b) the effect on Australia’s gross domestic product and balance of payments from this significant change in Australia’s productive capacity;
c) capital, energy and resources required to build and operate the proposed 10 steel plants, 5 at Port Headland, Western Australia and 5 in the Bowen Basin, Queensland;
d) the feasibility of the proposed clamshell design and electric/diesel propulsion to safely transport iron ore and coal across the 3000 kilometre route;
e) the environmental benefit of the reduction in bulk ore exports in regard to marine pollution and energy consumption;
f) any environmental impacts from the proposed alignment;
g) any impacts of the rail line or steel parks on the Aboriginal community;
h) the relevance of the Iron Boomerang project to our national security; and
i) any other related matters.
Submissions closed on 20 October 2022.
On 10 May 2023, the Senate granted an extension of time to report until 10 August 2023.