Ministers for the Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities The Hon Michael McCormack MP Deputy Prime MinisterMinister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Senator the Hon Bridget McKenzie Minister for Regional ServicesMinister for SportMinister for Local Government and Decentralisation The Hon Alan Tudge MP Minister for Cities, Urban Infrastructure and Population The Hon Sussan Ley MP Assistant Minister for Regional Development and Territories The Hon Andrew Gee MP Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister The Hon Andrew Broad MP Former Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister The Hon Scott Buchholz MP Assistant Minister for Roads and Transport The Hon Barnaby Joyce MPFormer Deputy Prime MinisterFormer Minister for Infrastructure and Transport The Hon Dr John McVeigh MPFormer Minister for Regional Development, Territories and Local Government The Hon Keith Pitt MPFormer Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister The Hon Damian Drum MPFormer Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister Senator the Hon Fiona Nash Former Minister for Regional DevelopmentFormer Minister for Local Government and Territories The Hon Darren Chester MP Former Minister for Infrastructure and TransportFormer A/g Minister for Regional DevelopmentFormer A/g Minister for Local Government and Territories The Hon Warren Truss MP Former Deputy Prime Minister Former Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development The Hon Paul Fletcher MP Former Minister for Urban Infrastructure and Cities The Hon Jamie Briggs MP Former Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development

Inland Rail Community Consultative Committees to meet for the first time in Queensland

Media Release


12 December 2017

Joint release with:

Mathias Cormann

Minister for Finance

  • Four regional committees established for Queensland Inland Rail projects
  • More than 120 nominations received for membership
  • First meetings held on the 13 and 14 December in Inglewood, Pittsworth, Gatton and Yamanto

Four Inland Rail Community Consultative Committees will meet for the first time in Queensland, following a commitment by the Government and the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC).

Following a nomination process, and consultation with the local Members of Parliament and community leaders, independent chairs have been appointed to the committees of up to 16 members (biographies are below):

  • Chair of the Southern Darling Downs Committee Mr Graham Clapham
  • Chair of the Inner Darling Downs Committee Professor Steven Raine
  • Chair of the Lockyer Valley Committee Dr Mark Hohenhaus
  • Chair of the Scenic Rim Committee Ms Katherine Bensted

Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Darren Chester said the committees would be another channel for direct feedback and information sharing between landholders, local businesses, residents and the ARTC.

“ARTC has delivered on my commitment to establish Inland Rail Community Consultative Committees for greenfield projects in Queensland before the end of 2017,” Mr Chester said.

“With over 120 nominations received for membership of the committees, I want to thank community members for their continued participation and passion for the iconic Inland Rail project.

“I expect the ARTC to listen closely to the feedback of these committees who will bring important local experience to the development of the final alignment and design which will mitigate impacts on farms and the environment, including on the Condamine floodplain.

“I will also be asking the Chairs of the committees to report to me every six months to receive their views directly, and to be aware of how the consultation process is going and of any issues.”

Federal Finance Minister, Mathias Cormann said community consultation plays an important role in the project.
“Queensland stands to gain thousands of jobs and more than $7.2 billion in economic activity from Inland Rail,” Mr Cormann said. 

“There will be many opportunities to comment, provide feedback and make formal submissions as the Inland Rail projects progress in Queensland.”

ARTC Inland Rail Division Chief Executive Officer Peter Winder said ARTC was committed to extensive landholder and community consultation.

“I've spent a lot of time in Queensland, particularly over the last couple of months, talking directly with landowners. What I hear over and over is that people recognise the huge benefits that Inland Rail can bring to their regions,” Mr Winder said.

“ARTC is focused on designing the best possible project and contributing to the vitality of communities where Inland Rail operates, so it is vital to have as much community input as possible to achieve that.”

The geographically-based committees will focus on the Inland Rail projects in their local area, with committee members gathering and disseminating information throughout their community and then presenting those views to the committee.

Observers are welcome at committee meetings and registrations are recommended. Committees are expected to meet on a quarterly basis.

For more information about the committees, including meeting minutes visit: or call: 1800 732 761.

**NOTE: Biographies of the new independent chairs are below.

Southern Darling Downs CCC

Graham Clapham

Mr Clapham has experience in irrigation and broader agriculture, being a long term farmer in the Southern Darling Downs. He has extensive experience as a company Chair and as a Director of the peak industry body Central Downs Irrigators Limited. He Chaired the Floodplain Committee, which dealt with local law and regulation on any floodplain developments.

Inner Darling Downs CCC

Professor Steven Raine

Professor Raine established University of Southern Queensland (USQ) Agricultural Value Chains Research Group, and was the USQ lead in partnering with Toowoomba and Surat Enterprises (TSBE) to establish Food Leaders Australia—to develop the export of value added product to Asia.

He was appointed the inaugural Executive Director of the USQ Institute for Agriculture and the Environment in 2013.

Lockyer Valley CCC

Mark Hohenhaus

Mr Hohenhaus is an Associate Professor in Animal Science at the University of Queensland. He also Chairs the Teaching and Learning Committee of the School of Agriculture and Food Sciences at UQ.

Mr Hohenhaus runs Valley Livestock Services, consulting on livestock management for peri-urban farmers.

Mr Hohenhaus was the 2016 Lockyer Valley Citizen of the Year.

Scenic Rim CCC

Katherine Bensted

Ms Bensted served as a Councillor on both Scenic Rim Regional Council and Boonah Shire Council. Her service as an elected representative included management of community portfolios including health, culture, the Fire Brigade, environment and sports.

Ms Bensted is a member of the Queensland Utilities Reference Group.

Ms Bensted is the Chair of the Ipswich & West Moreton Regional Development Australia Board