Freight jobs shunted with Bay depot shutdown planned
MORE job losses are set to hit the Fraser Coast, with Aurizon's depot in Hervey Bay to be shut down - and the company is holding the State Government partly responsible for closures at depots across the region.
A representative of the national rail freight operator said no final decisions would be made until the company's consultation with employees was completed, with depots in Bundaberg, Gympie Murgon, Mundubbera, Gayndah, Monto, Biggenden, Biloela and Tully also set to close.
The closures were due to multiple factors, including changes to the State Government's transport services contract with Aurizon.
The representative said the removal of funding from the State Government as a result of the changes had a direct impact on the company's ability to keep the Wide Bay depots open.
"The proposed changes are designed to ensure we continue to operate competitively in a commercial market, matching our capacity and cost base with customer demand," the spokesman said.
He said closing the depots would mean the company could consolidate the delivery of freight into larger hub centres.
In total, 25 employees across the Wide Bay region will be affected by the changes, as well as an additional 10 in Brisbane.
"We understand that changes affecting employees are difficult and Aurizon's management in the freight business are committed to working through the proposed changes sensitively with employees," the representative said.
The company would not be forcing people into taking redundancies, the spokesman said.
But employees would be offered voluntary redundancy and they would also be given the opportunity to seek redeployment.