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Southern Downs Regional Council lobbies State Government for future of region's transport

5 March 2019

A new 15 year transport plan has the potential to shape the future of the Southern Downs with Council outlining how a single, integrated network could best transform the region.

Southern Downs Regional Council has reviewed a proposed transport plan from the Queensland Government and provided feedback that puts more focus on the Southern Downs.

An initiative of the Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR), the draft Darling Downs Regional Transport Plan (DDRTP) aims to integrate the region’s transport networks into a unified, single network.

Councillor for Transport, Infrastructure and Utilities Marika McNichol said the draft DDRTP is a good start but focuses on Toowoomba and needs to consider the needs of the broader region.

“Over the next 15 years, the DDRTP will transform the region’s transport system into one that focuses on supporting economic growth, enhancing liveability, transport safety and network resilience,” Cr McNichol said.

“The DDRTP will upgrade and integrate the region’s roads, rail networks, airports and other transport corridors which will improve access to areas both within the region and beyond.

“Council has provided feedback to TMR that the draft plan has room to improve, and highlighted how the proposed plan can better serve the needs of the Southern Downs and its residents.”

SDRC’s response included identifying projects that improve freight access for the region’s primary producers and industries, and improving road safety for motorists and cyclists.

SDRC also outlined creating new public transport routes to Toowoomba’s Wellcamp Airport as well as linking the Southern Downs with the proposed Inland Rail project and passenger rail networks between Toowoomba and Brisbane.

Southern Downs Mayor Tracy Dobie said that the proposed plan is crucial to developing the region for the future.

“Creating a single, integrated transport network across the Darling Downs will have enormous benefits for the region, but it needs to benefit and work for everyone” Cr Dobie said.

“Increasing access to essential services, employment and education will provide new opportunities for our residents and encourage others to move and invest in our region.

“Better access to recreational activities will not only make our residents happier and healthier, but will encourage more tourists to the Southern Downs and boost the local economy.

“The DDRTP has the potential to transform the Darling Downs, and Council is ensuring the Southern Downs and our residents reap as many benefits as it possibly can.”

For more information on the DDRTP, visit TMR’s website or email TMR_Regional_Transport_Plans@tmr.qld.gov.au.

To keep up to date with all the news and events across the Southern Downs, visit www.sdrc.qld.gov.au or follow SDRC’s Facebook page.

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