TOOWOOMBA TO BRISBANE
Fast passenger rail between Toowoomba and Brisbane is a transformational project for the city and south-east Queensland. It is a key legacy asset the Toowoomba Chamber continues to argue and fight for. Prima facie, the potential positive impact on business and the local economy is enormous.
Imagine, in 45 minutes, those who live in the capital could be in downtown Toowoomba.
But first, we seek the strategic business case, which I assume, will articulate the broad economic benefits for Toowoomba and the region.
The Australian Government committed in the order of $15 million in financial year 2018-2019 for the development of a business case to determine passenger rail requirements in the Toowoomba to Brisbane corridor.
According to the Australian Government website the strategic business case proposed to investigate a range of route options, including but not limited to:
- upgrades to the existing rail line to enable regular commuter passenger rail services and integrating passenger services in freight corridors;
- route staging and timing of construction; and
- consideration of costs and benefits of the project.
The website further articulates the benefits of regular passenger rail services. Highlighting the potential to improve access to jobs, health services and affordable housing, boost tourism and increase development throughout the region.
It also states, other benefits including:
- reduced travel times and improved travel reliability;
- efficient and reliable travel options;
- improved regional connectivity; and
- affordable housing opportunities in towns along the Brisbane-Toowoomba axis.
Fast Rail Why Not?
However, and curiously, the Australian Government website also states that it is considering the findings of the strategic business case, which will inform the next steps for the project. I searched and searched, and I could not find the strategic business case. No report and no findings.
Correspondence has been written to the Deputy Prime Minister, seeking a copy of the report and findings and we are waiting a response.
The State Government website confirms that the Australian Government is considering the findings of the strategic business case. A request has been made to the State Government Minister of Transport and Main Roads seeking a copy of the report and findings and we are waiting are response.
Don’t you think it is imperative that a copy of the strategic business case and its findings are shared with the Toowoomba community? Were you consulted? Do all candidates for Groom support this project? Will they fight for it?