RAISING CONCERNS: Wulkuraka residents (from left) Shirley Stevenson, and Charlie and Lorna Greensmith.
RAISING CONCERNS: Wulkuraka residents (from left) Shirley Stevenson, and Charlie and Lorna Greensmith. David Nielsen

Residents say depot fears are not heard

FRUSTRATED Wulkuraka residents say their concerns about a multi-million dollar train maintenance depot in their community are being ignored.

The project will mean 75 six-car trains are maintained at the Ada St site - less than 30m from homes.

After plans for the depot were revealed by Queensland Rail in 2011, Wulkuraka grandmother Shirley Stevenson began a campaign to have the facility relocated.

Mrs Stevenson said residents shared concerns about noise, as well as the depot's effect on traffic, wildlife and a heritage-listed bridge.

She said, according to an accredited insurance assessor, the bridge was running at full capacity now and should not have any more weight put over it.

"We have also been told this depot is going to be a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week operation, so noise and traffic are a huge concern," she said.

Mrs Stevenson submitted residents' concerns to the Minister for Transport and Main Roads, the Premier and her local MP, but was not satisfied with the response.

"The feedback we are getting is that no matter what we say, the development will go ahead," she said.

Earlier this month, Ipswich West MP Sean Choat updated affected residents on the issue, via a letterbox drop.

He wrote that the new facility would be located on existing Queensland Rail land and that it was chosen following an assessment of 34 other sites.

Wulkuraka retiree Charlie Greensmith said he would like to know details of the other 33 prospective sites.

He said despite countless requests, residents were yet to meet with a senior representative from QR or the Transport and Main Roads Minister.

"It would nice if someone in a senior position - not some PR minion - organised a meeting so affected residents can sit down and talk about these issues," he said.

Mr Choat said: "This project is important for Ipswich but people know my priority is the interests of my people.

"So I have made it plain to the department what our terms are for hosting the facility."

A Transport and Main Roads spokesman said necessary noise assessments would be undertaken.

"The maintenance centre will be purpose-built to service the new electric passenger trains only," the spokesman said. "The centre will not be servicing diesel or electric locomotives and wagons.

"The proposed primary access to the maintenance centre would be via Dixon St (West) away from residents. This will also be the primary access route for all trucks, delivery and service vehicles."

Transport and Main Roads is seeking community and stakeholder feedback on the site.

Interested parties are encouraged to make a formal submission by 5pm on Thursday, outlining concerns or support of the project. The report is available at tmr.qld.gov.au/ngr#community-info.

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