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Lockyer Valley Regional Council remains committed to advocating for a meaningful passenger rail link between Brisbane and Toowoomba.
Lockyer Valley Mayor, Councillor Tanya Milligan says Council is dedicated to playing a leading role in securing this vital connectivity for South East Queensland.
“For many years now, Council has backed the need for a passenger rail link for our residents of the Lockyer Valley.
“An integrated public transport network is vital and it’s a crucial link that’s missing here in South East Queensland,” she said.
In 2018, the Commonwealth Government provided $15M in funding for a Passenger Rail Business Case. To make certain the Business Case progressed and to ensure regional input, Council joined forces with Toowoomba Regional Council and Ipswich City Council to form the Ipswich to Toowoomba Passenger Rail Alliance.
The three councils consulted with key industry representatives to form the Alliance, including participants the University of Queensland (Gatton Campus), the Lockyer Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Lockyer Valley Tourism Association.
“This Alliance is not only an additional stakeholder for the Business Case, but also a tool for us to advocate for a shared position on future passenger rail.
“Local government remains the closest level of government to the community and, as elected representatives, we know our communities and will also advocate for the very best outcomes.
“It’s not only important to check in with the local community, but business and industry too.
“Together we are stronger and this way we can advocate for the needs of the residents of South East Queensland.
“Faster, regular passenger rail between Brisbane and Toowoomba via Ipswich is crucial for the future of the wider region, especially in providing reliable access to employment, tertiary education, specialist health services and tourism opportunities.
“We need to improve accessibility of Lockyer Valley residents to employment opportunities in our nearby cities, as well as give others in surrounding regions the opportunity to work here.
“In almost all other parts of South East Queensland, people commute to work by train between cities and regions and right now it’s an opportunity denied to both the Lockyer Valley and Australia’s largest naturally established inland city, Toowoomba,” Mayor Milligan said.
Council continues to liaise with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Michael McCormack MP.
“The Deputy Prime Minister has welcomed our involvement and advised the Queensland Government will deliver the Business Case.
“On behalf of the Alliance, I have sought a meeting for the Mayors of the Alliance with the Director-General of the Department of Transport and Main Roads (DTMR), who is organising a briefing for the Alliance with both levels of government and further meetings with the Director General of DTMR to ensure the scope of the Business Case is appropriate.
“COMSEQ has been vocal in their support of a 45-minute region and it is clear the community supports the concept of passenger rail and an integrated faster rail network.
“It is vital the Business Case and regional planning delivers a fast rail integrated network that will provide the Lockyer Valley and all residents of the South East with a sustainable, efficient, connected and prosperous region,” Mayor Milligan said.
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