Stopped in its tracks

THE QUEENSLAND Government spent more than $500 million on a dam that won’t be built but is apparently unprepared to fork out $6 million to bring the North Burnett railway branch line up to scratch.

The North Burnett Regional Council has heard nothing more from Q-Rail about its future plans for the line that was mothballed early last year.

Monto mining representatives hoping to use rail freight services to transport their product north to Gladstone are holding private talks with the State Government, and mayor Joy Jensen believes the branch line will be needed to carry three-metre pipes during the construction of a gas pipeline north from the western downs.

The line, Ms Jensen said, was expected to take a route through Monogorilby and the western section of Eidsvold area.

Meanwhile local railway employees were still wondering about their future.

A two-year moratorium on forced redundancies among staff members will end in May 2011.

Rail Tram and Bus Union spokesman Shayne Kummerfeld said the branch line’s bridges locos and rolling stock were not being maintained.

“Our union’s still fighting the State Government’s proposed sale of public assets and the closure of railway lines,” Mr Kummerfeld said.

“The best thing the community can do to help is register their support on the www.qldnotforsale.org.au website.

“When you register, an email is sent to state members asking what they’re doing about it.”



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