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Mayor rejects truckie snub claims

UPDATE: MAYOR Paul Antonio has rejected Transport Workers Union claims that key industry representatives were snubbed when invites for the Toowoomba Bypass forum were being distributed.

Cr Antonio said the claims were "totally wrong".

He said apart from senior ministers in the Federal Government and Opposition parties, invitations had also been sent to representatives from key industry bodies including the Australian and Queensland Trucking Associations, the Transport Workers Union, Department of Main Roads and Australian Railway Association.

"There are people from the industry all over who have been invited," Cr Antonio said.

"The focus of this forum is to touch people who can actually deliver it."

He was also disappointed by suggestions from the Transport Workers Union State Secretary Peter Biagini that funds from the $100-a-head forum may go towards his next election campaign.

Cr Antonio said the February 8 forum would feature a virtual drive through of the proposed Toowoomba Bypass route.

EARLIER: The Transport Workers Union has hit out at Mayor Paul Antonio for charging people to attend next month's Range forum and failing to invite the transport industry.

Cr Antonio will host the $100-a-head invitation only forum in February.

Transport Workers' Union state secretary Peter Biagini wants to know what sparked Cr Antonio to hold this event, why he hasn't invited key industry and community representatives, and where the money raised will go.

"Residents and motorists are fed up with this ongoing political football," Mr Biagini said.

"What has prompted Cr Antonio to now host this event?"

"Last week he could have attended the 500-strong community meeting discussing issues on the range, yet refused to and is charging people to attend his.

"What will the money raised go toward?

"Is the mayor going to use the money to start funding the new crossing?"

"Or simply fund his next campaign?"

"Toowoomba residents, motorists and transport companies alike deserve to know who is being invited to this forum, what will be discussed, and why money is being raised for it.

"If he was interested in his communities interests and wanted serious conversations about the range, he would have attended the range meeting last week about the development that will see a set of traffic lights be put on top of the range."

"To reignite a billion dollar solution because they stuffed up with a set of lights is ridiculous

"How can you have a transport forum without asking transport representatives to attend?"

"Is this event really about a solution or just Cr Antonio filling the coffers of his re-election campaign."

The Bypass Forum is scheduled for February 8.

Topics:  toowoomba, toowoomba regional council, transport workers union




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