The Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) Chief Executive Officer John Fullerton and Executive General Manager Interstate Network Peter Winder have spent Tuesday and Wednesday listening to the views of key stakeholders on the Darling Downs.
It’s their first opportunity to visit the region since Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester’s announcement of the preferred Inland Rail alignment from Yelarbon to Gowrie on 21 September.
Mr Fullerton who has committed to extensive landholder and community consultation said this first round of meetings has kicked off the process.
“I have heard from some land owners, local councils, industry, the Queensland Farmer’s Federation and MPs, Dr John McVeigh and Pat Weir. While this is very early in the process these meetings have been a high priority and in the coming weeks locals will have the opportunity to attend community meetings throughout the Darling Downs,” he said.
“As we progress into an extensive and detailed assessment and approvals process, landowners and local communities will have many opportunities to comment and make submissions as ARTC further progresses design and undertakes the necessary environmental and other studies.
“Our first information sessions will commence in the week of 20 October and run for three to four weeks and I strongly encourage people to attend so they can learn more about Inland Rail, the benefits it will bring and the next steps. Details of the sessions will be widely advertised in the coming days as we finalise times and venues,” he said.
Mr Fullerton reiterated that there are multiple stages of approval that are required and regular and ongoing input is both vital and welcomed.
“We’ll also be holding one on one meetings with landholders in the preferred study corridor,” he said.
“This is an extensive and detailed process, so I also encourage people to register through the Inland Rail website to receive updates or contact ARTC’s team to talk through any questions, concerns or queries.
“Our door is always open and we welcome local knowledge which will result in the best possible project outcome for communities, the region and the country.
“The Darling Downs region stands to gain more than $2.2 billion in economic activity from Inland Rail and ARTC recognises how important it is for local communities to contribute to the proposals in their local area.”
People with questions about Inland Rail can contact ARTC on 1800 732 761
Media contact: Vincene Overs | Mobile 0477 343 382