Inland Rail has a new home in Toowoomba today following the official opening of the Australian Rail Track Corporation’s (ARTC) Inland Rail project office on Margaret Street.
Federal member for Groom and long-time supporter of Inland Rail Dr John McVeigh opened the larger capacity office and welcomed the increased presence in Toowoomba as a reflection of the importance the region was playing in the design and development of Inland Rail in Queensland.
“Inland Rail’s fast and reliable freight rail service is going to change the way farmers, producers and manufacturers in Queensland move their goods, opening up new markets and opportunities,” Dr McVeigh said.
“More than 60 per cent of the Inland Rail investment will be made in Queensland and much of this will be in Toowoomba. As we fast become a northern freight and logistics hub – it’s fitting that ARTC increase their presence in town as they work to refine the design of Inland Rail.
“I was proud to open the new Inland Rail office today, which was designed and built by local company WJT Builders, and can accommodate up to 40 people, all appropriately distanced.
“The office will serve as a hub for ARTC’s community engagement for a number of sections of the project and will provide a basecamp for technical staff when in the field.
“ARTC staff working in this new office, along with the Australian Government staff in Toowoomba, will play a critical role in providing members of the community with the information they need as Inland Rail gains momentum and becomes a reality in Queensland.”
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said Inland Rail was of huge significance to Queensland and to regional Australia.
“Last year the Australian and Queensland Government’s signed an intergovernmental agreement to deliver Inland Rail in Queensland – we’re building Inland Rail and the private sector is already embracing it with investments in Toowoomba and the surrounding region,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.
“The Australian Government is committed to growing our regional communities and supporting strong and vibrant regional economies through the creation of local jobs, economic diversification and regional growth – Inland Rail is a prime example of how we are activating our regions.
“No one understands regional towns better than the people who live and work there. Local knowledge and a connection to community improves the delivery of Government services and programs, such as Inland Rail”.
Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said the opening of the ARTC Inland Rail Toowoomba Office was an important step for Inland Rail as it delivers important economic benefits to Queensland.
“Regional Australia is a significant contributor to our economy and Inland Rail will facilitate our regions connecting to markets at home and abroad, providing a sustainable and long term benefit to these communities and Australia more broadly,” Minister Cormann said.
“Inland Rail will also provide more immediate benefits to Queensland, supporting 7,200 jobs during construction.”
The ARTC Inland Rail Toowoomba Office is part of a broader network of ARTC local support in regional centres along the alignment whose work complements the regional activities of Australian Government staff in offices in Wodonga, Dubbo, Moree and Toowoomba.