THE FEDERAL government has appointed Dr Kerry Schott as acting chair of the Australian Rail Track Corporation.

Dr Schott will remain in the position for three months while chairman Peter Duncan takes leave to serve as acting secretary of the Department of the Premier and Cabinet in NSW.

Dr Schott recently completed an independent review of the Inland Rail project, which highlighted some major deficiencies in the governance and delivery of the project.

Her review prompted Mr Duncan’s appointment as ARTC chair in February this year.

Minister for infrastructure, transport, regional development and local government Catherine King and senator Katy Gallagher announced Dr Schott’s appointment on Wednesday (19 April).

“Dr Schott … is perfectly placed to oversee the initial implementation of the recommendations she made, and the government accepted,” they said.

“During her three-month tenure, Dr Schott will focus on recruiting a permanent CEO of Inland Rail and addressing the governance and board capability shortcomings her report outlined.”

Ms King and Ms Gallagher said the request for Mr Duncan to take on the secretarial role was a sign of how much his expertise is valued.

“We are grateful to Dr Schott for agreeing to undertake this important task and we look forward to welcoming Mr Duncan back to the role later in the year.”