Don’t blame us for Aurizon closures, State Govt says

THE State Government has hit back at claims that changes to a transport services contract with rail freight company Aurizon resulted in the closure of several regional depots, including in Hervey Bay.

A spokesman for Minister for Transport and Main Roads Scott Emerson said the company was contracted to deliver required freight services across Queensland.

The spokesman added the structure of Aurizon's operation and any changes to depots "are a commercial matter for Aurizon".

But Rail, Tram and Bus Union branch organiser Shayne Kummerfeld said the decision to close down the depots had come after the State Government had amended a funding agreement with Aurizon.

The Queensland Government had discontinued the provision of freight subsidies for the Wide Bay region, Mr Kummerfeld said, leaving the company with little option but to close the depots.

"The State Government has shown no consideration for the people of the Wide Bay," Mr Kummerfeld said.

An Aurizon representative said the loss of funding meant the transport company was "unable to operate competitively in a commercial market".

The representative said the company was continuing to consult with its employees.

Other depots set to be closed will include Murgon, Mundubbera, Gayndah, Monto, Biggenden, Bundaberg, Gympie, Biloela and Tully.

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