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NOMINATIONS have opened for four Inland Rail community consultative committees in Queensland.
The committees, of between 10 to 15 members each with an independent chair, will cover the greenfield Inland Rail projects in the Southern Darling Downs, inner Darling Downs, the Lockyer Valley and the Scenic Rim regions.
Each of these Inland Rail projects will be assessed through the Queensland Government's formal project assessment and approvals process requiring the preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement.
Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester said the committees would be another channel for direct feedback and information sharing between landholders, local businesses and residents and the Australian Rail Track Corporation.
"Local people told us they wanted committees in each of the Queensland Inland Rail project areas and that's what we are delivering," Mr Chester said.
"Regular and ongoing input is both vital and welcome as ARTC moves through the EIS process of extensive studies and engineering work which will take around 18-months to two years across all four Queensland projects covered by the committees."
Mr Chester said the geographically-based committees would focus on the Inland Rail projects in their local area, with committee members gathering and disseminating information throughout their community and then presenting those views to the committee.
"In general, committee meetings will be open to the public," he said.
"Queensland stands to gain thousands of jobs and more than $7.2 billion in economic activity from Inland Rail so it is vital for local communities to contribute to the development and progress of Inland Rail in their local area."
The first meetings will be held before the end of the year.
A spokesperson for ARTC said the company "understands how important it is for local residents to contribute to the development of Inland Rail in their local areas so that we can design and deliver the best possible project".
Nominations for membership must be in by 5pm, November 24.
Interested community members are encouraged to nominate with more information about the committees available at Inlandrail.com.au or by calling 1800 732 761.
This article first appeared on www.thechronicle.com.au
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