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RESIDENTS living along the route of the proposed Inland Rail Track have had a small victory after the federal government promised to set up a community consultative committee.
The committee, designed to give residents a say on the proposed freight line, will include up to 15 residents.
It is for consultation purposes and is not a decision-making body. Input and feedback will go to state and federal government representatives and members of the Australian Rail Track Corporation.
An independent person will act as committee chair and the ARTC will provide administrative support.
Nominations will be taken from residents from Kagaru to Acacia Ridge and Bromelton.
Campaigners Stan and Suz Corbett, who live in Forestdale near the proposed track, have nominated for positions on the committee.
“Our main concern is that the community consultative committee meetings are only held quarterly and last for two hours,” Mrs Corbett said.
“During this time, it is taken up with ARTC project and environmental discussions and community attendees, not members of the committee, are considered as observers only, and unable to participate or ask questions.
“The meetings are tightly controlled by ARTC and the chair, who we understand is employed and paid by ARTC, controls participation.
“So we believe it is critical that we have representation on the committee.”
In April, Algester MP Leeanne Enoch and other Labor State MPs wrote to the ARTC chief executive John Fullerton and asked him to give residents a chance to have a say.
“I have spoken directly with hundreds of local residents and people always tell me they don’t know what information they can trust,” Ms Enoch said.
“That’s why this committee means so much – it will be made up of people from our own community who residents know and can hold accountable.”
This article first appeared on www.couriermail.com.au
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