Candidate’s call for Cross River Rail contract clarity
LNP Candidate for Maryborough Denis Chapman has questioned the State Labor Government over last week’s $1 billion train package announcement.
It comes after rail manufacturing funding was also promised to Rockhampton.
“Just where will a re-elected Labor Government build the Cross River Rail Trains?” Mr Chapman said.
“Ms Palaszczuk was in Maryborough last week announcing with grand fan fare that
$1 billion would be spent on new rail contracts and the implication was that it would be spent in Maryborough”
“Then, the same Ms Palaszczuk was in Rockhampton later in the week with almost the same
announcement for Rockhampton. I’m now waiting for her to turn up in Townsville and in Brisbane with much the same announcement because in Townsville and in Brisbane there are manufacturers who build trains too.”
The $1 billion pipeline of train building work announced in Maryborough this week includes, according to the State Government, $600 million to build 20 new Queensland trains, supporting 690 new jobs.
Follow up announcements in other parts of Queensland suggested some of the $1billion package would be spent elsewhere including Rockhampton where Labor plans to secure land at old Aurizon workshops to support “a rail manufacturing and logistics centre”.
The Premier’s pitch was that Rockhampton would be part of the supply chain, building components of the new trains such as electrical looming or fibreglass forming.
When contacted by the Chronicle State Transport Minister Mark Bailey insisted the 20 Cross River Rail trains needed for the project would be built in Maryborough.
“The requirement to build them in Maryborough will be a condition of the tender,” the Minister said.
“All trains and rolling stock associated with the project will be built in Maryborough.
“If re-elected we’re aiming for procurement to start next month, so that the first 20 trains will be built and ready to enter service by 2025, when Cross River Rail is expected to be up and running,” he said.
“A registration of interest from potential bidders for this new train building contract will be called next month if we are re-elected.”
State Member for Maryborough Bruce Saunders labelled last week’s announcement as “the best news we’ve ever heard.”
While in Maryborough promoting the train package, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk dodged questions regarding her tenure as Transport Minister under the Bligh government at it’s handling of the NGR tender process.
Downer has welcomed the State Government’s announcement.