Council and the ARTC could finally be on track
Lockyer Valley Regional Council is taking a cautious sigh of relief, with increased confidence the Australian Rail Track Corporation could finally be taking notice of significant local community issues.
The new-found hope comes after Mayor Milligan, councillors and key staff met with the Interim Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) and Federal and State Members last week, to drive home Council’s Inland Rail concerns.
Lockyer Valley Regional Council Mayor, Tanya Milligan said she was cautiously optimistic the ARTC were now listening to local concerns.
“I left the meeting with greater optimism the ARTC are finally treating the community with the respect and dignity they so rightfully deserve and am hopeful this signals a change in cooperation to reduce the impacts on our region,” Mayor Milligan said.
“It is recognised the project’s current impacts on the Lockyer Valley are significantly worse than any other community on the national route and we will continue to seek an alignment that protects and respects our community by skirting around Gatton rather than thundering straight through it for the next 100 years.
“While we do not really want Inland Rail coming through our region at all given it offers absolutely no benefit to our community, we acknowledge it is infrastructure of national significance and will continue to work with ARTC to minimise the number of residents impacted and relieve, wherever possible, the impacts for our residents and businesses.
“We’ll continue to advocate for our community at all stages of the process, to ensure alternative routes are seriously and thoroughly explored – and not downplayed or overlooked just to save money.”
Noting the Council has been frustrated by the limited mitigation options that have been presented by ARTC, Mayor Milligan is hopeful the parties may have finally turned a corner to a more cooperative process.
“It’s been no secret our Council has been in uproar over the stress and uncertainty these works will have on homes and businesses along the corridor, and we will continue to make noise on behalf of our community wherever necessary, to ensure the region is given due consideration.
“To be clear, we aren’t hanging up our boots or stepping down from our current stance – we’re simply acknowledging the respect demonstrated in last week’s meeting, and positive signs that our region’s needs will be considered.
“I sincerely appreciate the visit from ARTC’s Acting CEO, Rebecca Pickering and her team, and am hopeful of a brighter, and more collaborative future.”