Inland Rail office finally rolls into town
A NEW Inland Rail office space in Gatton will provide residents with a place to raise questions about the ARTC project.
Lockyer Valley Regional Council has "stepped in" to ensure residents have reasonable access to the Australian Rail Track Corporation during the consultation process.
With local residents demanding to know what is happening with the project, council has provided an office space in the its Gatton offices for ARTC use in the interim, while it searches for a permanent location.
LVRC Mayor Tanya Milligan said she was pleased to see the corporation taking this important step in their community consultation process for the region.
"Locking down a temporary ARTC representative office for our region was an easy decision for Council to make, we just now hope they can get serious about their consultation and let the community know what the plans are for the project with honest and open conversations," Cr Milligan said.
"While we understand that ARTC are looking into a more permanent shop front, we weren't prepared to wait and have made adjustments to accommodate them in our Gatton Council office for the time being.
Hopefully, ARTC's relationship with the local community can get back on track and they can have transparent conversations with residents who have ongoing concerns about how the Inland Rail project will affect their lives.
The announcement comes after Cr Milligan lashed out at ARTC earlier this month about its handling of the Inland Rail project, claiming the relationship between the council and ARTC had been completely "derailed".
Cr Milligan felt she had lost faith and confidence in the corporation.
Inland Rail Director of Community and Environment Rebecca Pickering said community consultation was the cornerstone of the Inland Rail project, and expected to establish a permanent office in early 2019.
Ms Pickering said ARTC had previously occupied space in council offices last year, but visitor numbers did not meet expected demand and staff moved to other engagements to "better reach the community".
She said ARTC highly valued its relationship with the people of the Lockyer and the Lockyer Valley Regional Council.
"ARTC is listening and is open to suggestions from the Council on how we can engage better with these communities," Ms Pickering said.
The ARTC office will be managed by their engagement team, operating Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 8.30am - 4.30pm.
Appointments are necessary to ensure an ARTC team member is available for consultation and any queries can be directed to ARTC on 1800 732 761.