The ACT Public Service executive who has overseen Canberra's mammoth light rail project since its inception is set to leave the top job about a week after the service gets running.
Transport Canberra and City Services director-general Emma Thomas will finish up in the role on April 30, after accepting a job in Brisbane.
She has led the near 2000-strong directorate for almost three years, and was elevated to the position after the Capital Metro agency she headed merged with the transport and city services divisions in 2016.
The former South Australian deputy chief executive of public transport and rail commissioner came to Canberra to lead Capital Metro when it was created in 2013, but Ms Thomas said her greatest achievement was not light rail.
"It’s exciting to see light rail running through the city, but what I’m really proud of is the work we’ve done to establish Transport Canberra and City Services. It was a once-in-a-career opportunity. It’s such a diverse and exciting place, but one with a shared sense of purpose-based on making our city attractive, safe and easy to move around,” Ms Thomas said.
“The way we’ve put customer service and the safety of our people and our community at the heart of everything we do is something of which I’m very proud.”
Transport Minister Meegan Fitzharris said she "especially valued" Ms Thomas' leadership in setting up the merged directorate.
“Emma has supported the government for a number of years and provided excellent advice to me and to the government. She is highly regarded as an outstanding leader within TCCS, the ACT Public Service and in her many engagements with stakeholders and members of our community,” Ms Fitzharris said.
“While I am sad to see her go, Emma has helped the government deliver on significant commitments, including stage one of light rail, a new bus network, the city wide rollout of green bins and significant road upgrades across the ACT."
City Services Minister Chris Steel also praised Ms Thomas for her work on the Better Suburbs Forum, where locals helped to develop a four-year plan to improve city services across Canberra.
“Emma’s contribution is evident across so many areas of our work including building high quality public spaces in Canberra, our smart city LED streetlight replacement program, our nation leading work on our approach to plastics, as well as delivering key roads projects,” Mr Steel said.
Light rail is expected to start running on April 20 although that date is subject to third-party accreditation.