Committee general questions

What will the Committees do?

The purpose of the Committees is for the Inland Rail Project Team to consult with selected representatives from the community and various interest groups for the relevant Inland Rail Project. 

The Committees will:
  • Receive briefings and updates on the Project;
  • Discuss, and provide comment or feedback on negotiable aspects of the Project;
  • Represent community views regarding local issues, impacts and benefits; and
  • Act as a conduit to provide information about the project to the broader community.

What type of people will be on the Committees?

Each Committee will comprise members with a range of backgrounds and interests. Anyone who is able to represent a community, locality or industry can apply for a position on their respective Committee.  ARTC particularly welcomes landowners and residents to consider whether they would like to nominate for appointment to a relevant Committee. In general, Committees will comprise around 12 - 16 Members.

Will the Committees have any influence on the project?

The Committees will provide community input on aspects of the studies required as part of developing the Environmental Impact Statements, as well as provision to ARTC Inland Rail of insights into community issues, concerns and opportunities.

While the Committees are for consultation purposes and are not decision-making bodies, the input and feedback received will result in projects that better address community issues and concerns during  planning and design. 

Do members get paid to be on the Committee?

Membership of the Committee is on a voluntary basis, and no payment is made for participation. However, reimbursement of reasonable travel expenses will be provided once approved by the Chair and ARTC.  While Members are not paid, Chairs are remunerated to recognise their extra workload and responsibilities.

How long will members be on the Committee?

Members will be appointed for a period of two years with members able to be appointed for two subsequent terms after which time a member who has served for three terms will not be eligible to serve as a member.

Will members need to sign confidentiality agreements?

Members will not need to sign confidentiality agreements. However, the Committee will at times be privy to confidential information and that confidential information should not be disclosed. The Chair will advise the meeting where information is considered confidential, and the meeting must decide in advance of considering the information whether to consider it as confidential and be bound by restrictions on disclosure.  A decision by the Committee to recognise or not recognise information as confidential is binding on all Members irrespective of the views of any individual Member. If a Committee determines that information to be discussed or disclosed is of a confidential nature and needs to be considered as such, members of the public attending will be asked to leave the Committee meeting for the duration that the information is considered by Members.

Member nomination process

I want to nominate to represent my community group, who do I need to agree to my nomination?

You will need to supply your nomination with a letter signed by an authorised officer of the organisation.

Do I need to have other residents support my nomination?

It is not mandatory, however if you feel it will support your nomination you can provide written documentation such as letters or names and signatures from other residents or community members. 

Can I be on more than one Committee?

You may nominate for more than one Committee but cannot be appointed to more than one.

Selection Process

How will members be selected?

The following criteria are proposed to enable assessment of nominations for the Committees:
  • Knowledge of the local area, as evidenced by number of years living in the area, family links to the area (i.e. multigenerational farms) or significant landholdings;
  • Participation in the local community, as evidenced by membership of community groups, business groups, school P&Cs, local or regional NGOs (but no NGO that is generally recognised as having a state or national focus or reach) etc.; and
  • Ability to gather and disseminate information regarding Inland Rail throughout the community and to bring representative views to the work of the Committee
A points rating system is applied to ensure a consistent approach to evaluation across all Committees, and people need to attain 9/16 points in order to be considered for appointment.


Who will decide on the membership of the Committees?

All nominations will be assessed by an appropriate independent external organisation and recommendations for appointment made to ARTC. Committee Chairs and Members are appointed by ARTC.

Will there be MPs or Councillors on the Committees?

No person who is a sitting Member of Parliament or Councillor, direct family member (spouse, children, and parents) of a sitting MP or Councillor may nominate as a member nor may any person who is employed by a commercial contractor to work on any ARTC Inland Rail project.

How will I know if my nomination has been successful?

Appointed Committee members will be notified in writing, as will those who are not selected. The membership of the Committee will be publicised through appropriate local channels and media and on the Inland Rail website.

Chair role and selection process - Queensland

Who will be the Chair of the Committee?

Each Committee will be facilitated by an independent person, referred to as the Chair. 

A Chair will need to be an experienced facilitator and while he or she does not need to live within each project area, they do need to have an understanding of the region.

What is the role of the Chair?

The Chair will preside as Chairperson at every Committee meeting, unless due to unavailability, whereby the Chair may delegate their role in advance to another member.

The Chair will be responsible for preparing an agenda for each meeting, facilitating a full and complete discussion in each meeting, ensuring an open and transparent process is implemented, reviewing the draft Chair’s summary, reviewing draft minutes prior to distribution to the Committee and responding to Committee member concerns in relation to the operation of the Committee.

How will the Chair be selected?

ARTC will seek recommendations for the role of Chair for a specific Committee from relevant key stakeholders. As with nominations for Members, an external independent organisation will assess nominations for Chairs and make recommendations to ARTC.   ARTC will review the recommendations and make a decision on whom to approach for the role of Chair. The final appointment will be ARTC’s decision.

Interim Charter

What is the Interim Charter and why do I need to read the Interim Charter before nominating?

The Charter sets out the scope of the Committee and expectations of behaviours. It is important you understand what the Committee will do and what is expected of members before nominating to be on the Committee. 

Each Committee will ratify the Interim Charter at their first meeting.  A Committee may make amendments to the Interim Charter as long as those amendments do not fundamentally compromise the Interim Charter or the role and purpose of a Committee.

Meetings

How often will meetings be held and where will they be?

The Committee will meet at an appropriate place and time as notified to Committee members by the Chair. It is expected that the Committee will meet no less than quarterly (every 12 weeks) on dates and places set out in advance, but may set meetings on a more frequent basis.

Will the Committee meetings be open to the public?

In general, committee meetings will be open to public observers. Observers are encouraged to register. The Chair may invite other persons on an ad-hoc basis to address the Committee on particular agenda items. The Chair and ARTC may also identifiy and invite individuals who have significant understanding of the local area or specialist knowledge to attend committee meetings from time to time, as relevant, and actively contribute to those meetings.

Who is authorised to speak to the media about Committee meetings?

The Chair is the only person authorised to speak to the media on behalf of the Committee.  Members cannot make comments to the media on behalf of the Committee but may make comments to the media in their capacity as individuals not as Committee Members. 

Project Specific

I live in a town that is on the border of two Committees – which Committee will be the best for me to be on?

You can apply for both Committees, and ARTC will determine the most appropriate Committee, based on other nominations and ensuring appropriate representation on each Committee. However, a person may not be appointed as a Member to serve simultaneously on more than one Committee.  A person may simultaneously serve as Chair of more than one Committee if it is considered beneficial for this to occur.

Why is there no Committee being established for the Inland Rail project in my area?

ARTC has currently established four Committees for areas in which greenfield Inland Rail projects will be taken forward into a formal Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) process.  Committees are now also being established in New South Wales and for the Kagaru to Acacia Ridge and Bromelton project in Queensland. 

In due course, ARTC will give consideration as to whether there is merit in also establishing Committees for the upgrade and enhancement projects.