Three local councils have joined forces to form an alliance, in the next step toward passenger rail becoming a reality from Brisbane to Toowoomba.
Ipswich City Council has joined with Toowoomba Regional Council and Lockyer Valley Regional Council to form the Ipswich to Toowoomba Passenger Rail Alliance.
The three councils have invited key industry representatives to join the alliance, including participants from universities, defence, health and tourism.
Following on from the Commonwealth Government’s funding of a $15 million business case looking at passenger rail from Toowoomba to Brisbane, Lockyer Valley Regional Council Mayor Tanya Milligan said the alliance was vital to ensure the needs and interests of local communities are a priority.
“We want to ensure our local communities are adequately included in the business case, so we’re seeking active involvement from key sectors across council regions in that process.
“Tourism advocates Lockyer Valley Tourism are on board and we welcome their commitment to this project.
“We need to improve accessibility of Lockyer Valley residents to employment opportunities in our nearby cities,” Mayor Milligan said.
Toowoomba Regional Council Mayor Paul Antonio said further meetings with industry groups within the region would be held in the coming weeks to gather their support.
“Faster, regular passenger rail between Brisbane and Toowoomba via Ipswich is vital for the future of the wider region, especially in providing reliable access to employment, tertiary education, specialist health services and tourism opportunities.
“Toowoomba is Australia’s largest inland non-capital city, yet has no meaningful passenger rail link, so this is an opportunity we cannot miss,” Mayor Antonio said.
Ipswich City Council’s Manager of Infrastructure Strategy Tony Dileo said council supports the business case development for this significant project.
“Council is looking forward to contributing through the alliance partnership,” Mr Dileo said.
Mayors Antonio and Milligan (pictured below) announced the alliance at Withcott on Friday.