New Inland Rail info centre in Toowoomba
Chester says local feedback is welcome
Federal infrastructure and transport minister Darren Chester says given its location Toowoomba is the "perfect" venue for an information centre for Australian Rail Track Corporation’s Inland Rail project.
Chester says the new office, which was inaugurated yesterday, will act a "central hub" for people interesting in finding out more about the project or those intending to provide feedback.
"Local people can now come and see for themselves what Inland Rail will mean for the region and Australia," he says.
"This Toowoomba office is an Australia-first, as well as being a useful resource for local residents—it's a central spot to get information and advice, give feedback and talk face to face with the people delivering this nationally important project.
"Choosing Toowoomba as a base for Inland Rail in Queensland makes perfect sense. It is a major regional city and the gateway to the Darling Downs."
Having earlier met with the Yelarbon to Gowrie Project Reference Group to hear views on the conduct of the project alignment review, Chester says his office is awaiting the report on the transparency of the review to analyse how to improve community confidence during the planning stage.
"Chair Bruce Wilson and members of the Project Reference Group are doing a great job in working with the community, which is critical to delivering the Inland Rail Project," he says.
"I'm told the community drop-in sessions held throughout the study area last week have really added to the Group's understanding of community views on the project.
"I look forward to Mr Wilson's independent report on the transparency of the alignment review, and what further work may be needed to give the community confidence in the planning process."
The minister reiterates the benefits of the 1,700km freight rail network between Melbourne and Brisbane to regional Queensland – "with the benefit to gross state product modelled at $7.3 billion during construction and the first 50 years of its operation".
"We believe in the future of regional Australia, and the Melbourne to Brisbane inland rail project will deliver benefits to all the communities it touches today, and in 100 years from now."
The new office is located on 65-67 Neil St, Toowoomba, and will remain open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm.