A group of Darling Downs locals have picketed the front entrance to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s first speech of 2018.
Mr Turnbull’s speech was delivered at the Empire Theatre Hall in Toowoomba situated on Queensland’s Darling Downs with Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce also giving a short speech before the Prime Minister’s national address.
The protest group held signs saying ‘Re-route Inland Rail’ and ‘Destroying our Future’. The protesters who were asked by reporters said they had issue with the current Inland Rail route across the region due to concern about impacts to “quality farming land”.
Four police officers were lined across the front entrance to the Empire Theatre Hall where Mr Turnbull delivered his maiden speech of the year.
Some protesters called out to local business identities walking into the function, but no issues were reported by police with the picket line.
The Inland Railway is a railway construction project extending from Melbourne to Brisbane along a route west of the mountainous Great Dividing Range.
Construction of the railway is scheduled to commence in 2018 to be completed by 2025.
In 2017, the Australian Federal Government earmarked $8.4 billion to build the line.