Inland Rail route review sparks hope for Lockyer critics
A FORMER member of the Lockyer Valley's consulting committee for the Inland Rail project has reiterated his calls for a "rethink" of the project's route.
It comes after news the Deputy Prime Minister has ordered a review of the proposed route for the project through the Condamine flood plain - potentially opening the door for further route changes.
Former Lockyer MP Ian Rickuss was one of the founding members of the Inland Rail Community Consultative Committee until his resignation last year.
Mr Rickuss has been a long-time critic of the proposed route through the Lockyer Valley, and welcomed the announcement of the review.
"I think that is a positive move," Mr Rickuss said.
He said the announcement could open the door for a review of the major project's route through the Lockyer Valley.
“Will Inland Rail really happen?” “What are trains on Inland Rail going to carry?”🤔 #InlandRail is Australia’s largest freight rail infrastructure project – & it’s a complex one! We sat down with our CEO, Richard Wankmuller, to quiz him on 5 of our most commonly asked questions. pic.twitter.com/83ZWzjQgK0— Inland Rail (@Inland_Rail) March 18, 2020
Deputy Prime Minister and Transport and Infrastructure Minister Michael McCormack confirmed yesterday the Federal Government would consider a new route over the Condamine flood plain.
"The purpose of this review is to reassure the community that all potential routes have been duly and thoroughly considered and the Australian Government's significant investment in this nation-building infrastructure is well placed," Mr McCormack said.
Mr Rickuss had criticised the proposed route in the Lockyer while he was a state member and continued to make criticisms during his time as a member of the Lockyer Valley CCC - the group set up to advise ARTC on community concerns.
Mr Rickuss resigned from the committee last year, citing a need for "new blood".
He reiterated his belief there was no need for the rail line to even come through the Lockyer Valley.
"There is no business case that will ever justify bringing in the range," he said.
He said, with the route linking with Wellcamp Airport in Toowoomba, there was simply "no need" for the line to continue on to Brisbane.
He said the final journey would be better served by road transport, particularly with the recent opening of the Toowoomba Bypass.