News

Newman misled on loco, carriage contract: union

PREMIER Campbell Newman misled the public when he announced changes to Downer EDi's Sunlander contract during his recent visit to the Fraser Coast, furious union spokesperson Brad Hansen says.

At a special press conference outside Downer EDi last week Mr Newman and the Minister for Transport and Main Roads Scott Emerson outlined plans for two additional locomotives and 12 carriages - but this was actually a "significant cut" to the original contract.

"The original contract, worth $189m, contained 20 to 22 carriages, almost double the 12 carriages that the LNP has announced," Mr Hansen, central Queensland organiser of the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union, said.

"Mr Newman said the two additional locomotives brought the number of locomotives to four.

"Strangely, four is the exact number of locomotives contained within the original contract."

On Monday, Mr Emerson denied the public had been misled, saying the value of the contract was about the same as what the previous government had on the table.

He said project was set to blow out from $189 million to almost $250 million under the Labor government, but the LNP changes would save $50 million.

"The real issue is the previous government didn't know what they wanted," he said.

"They talked about running three 14 carriage trains, but didn't budget for seats or a suitable maintenance facility."

Mr Hansen hit back, saying the reason the previous government wouldn't have budgeted for seats was because the contract was for sleeper carriages.

And claims the previous government only budgeted for two locomotives were "completely false".

"Every worker in the Downer EDI facility knows there were always four locomotives," he said.

Topics:  contract downer edi government maryborough rail trains union workers



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