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Speeding up plans for a fast passenger rail service from Toowoomba to Brisbane are firmly in motion for Toowoomba Regional Council (TRC).
With talks of a fast rail service having been discussed for many years, TRC Mayor Paul Antonio said it was time to turn this dream into reality.
“The Council of Mayors South East Queensland (CoMSEQ) has strongly promoted the need for a South East Queensland fast rail network with the vision of creating a 45-minute Region,” he said.
“While it may seem ambitious to have a fast rail service from Toowoomba to Brisbane, it was also ambitious of CoMSEQ to dream about hosting the 2032 Olympic Games many years ago and we’ve seen how that has come to fruition.
“We’re looking for the same result with a fast passenger rail service. We have the Inland Rail coming, we have an internationally-capable airport and we’re the gateway to western Queensland.
“The current four hour rail journey between Toowoomba and Brisbane, which is only available twice weekly, simply isn’t adequate for our community and for all of those people wanting to explore our beautiful Region.”
In 2018/19 the Australian Government committed up to $15 million for the development of a business case for an improved faster passenger rail between Toowoomba and Brisbane.
The State Government has progressed this work over the past 18 months and has completed a strategic business case which is currently being considered by the Australian Government and will lead to the development of a detailed business case.
“The wheels are already in motion but we need to make sure it happens,” Mayor Antonio said.
“To ensure it remains at the front of mind for the State and Federal Governments we’re planning to place signage on the Toowoomba Range to advocate for our needs, much like we did with the Toowoomba Bypass which we were fortunate to secure.
“We also propose to host a Toowoomba to Brisbane Fast Rail Forum, in collaboration with Toowoomba and Surat Basin Enterprise, during the next 12 months.
“This would provide an opportunity for Council to invite relevant Federal and State Government Ministers and key industry representatives to discuss the benefits and opportunities this project would bring to the greater region from Brisbane to Toowoomba and beyond.
“Toowoomba is a regional powerhouse in this country and it’s crucial for our Region and for all the areas west of us to better connect to Brisbane for our future growth.”