Sunday, May 26, 2024

Toowoomba Mayor says legacy projects ‘worth the toil’

Toowoomba Region Council Mayor, Paul Antonio has told the Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) Regional Organisation of Councils (ROC) Assembly that persistent and collaborative advocacy by local government will be needed to keep vital infrastructure projects and funding submissions in front of state and Commonwealth governments.

In his ROC address titled Passing the Torch, Mayor Antonio drew on the decades-long campaign for the Toowoomba Bypass as a case in point.

“Major projects rely on the alignment of many different elements and competing priorities,” he said.

“While most parties agreed on the long-term benefits of the Toowoomba Bypass, it took decades of lobbying, a petition lodged with the Commonwealth Parliament and the alignment of political will and funding commitments to realise the project.

“The Toowoomba Bypass is an efficient transport corridor that has delivered immediate economic and social benefits to Toowoomba and our Region. The link was designed to cater for future growth in the Region’s transport network, with Toowoomba continuing to emerge as a leading state and national intermodal logistics hub that is connected to the Wellcamp Toowoomba Airport and the proposed route for the Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail.”

Mayor Antonio said the Darling Downs and South West Queensland Council of Mayors continued to press the case for improving rail infrastructure and freight services connecting the region’s productive southern and western areas with domestic transfer hubs and export/import facilities at Toowoomba and Brisbane.

“This plan, which was first proposed by the Council of Mayors South East Queensland, is a far-sighted approach to improving transport infrastructure delivery for a rapidly growing area, in addition to supporting the successful bid for the 2032 Olympics and Paralympics.”

“The benefits of better transport links, in particular the passenger rail links, were presented to the recent Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games Legacy Forum.

“I’m pleased that the wider infrastructure planning surrounding the 2032 Olympics and Paralympics is firmly in the spotlight, but it remains unclear which transport projects will be delivered in the next decade.

“We need to keep pressing the case for the projects that will support and advance growing communities well into the future.”

He said he had faith that successive elected representatives would see the merit in pushing for transformative infrastructure projects long into the future.

Latest Articles