Labor's $150m promise to get Qld trains back on track

A New Generation Rollingstock test train in Ipswich.
A New Generation Rollingstock test train in Ipswich. Courier Mail

LABOR has promised a $150million project to get Maryborough industry back on track.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk will today announce work to repair problematic Indian-built New Generation Rollingstock would be carried out in Maryborough.

The $150million announcement is in addition to the $70million in rail projects Ms Palaszczuk announced in September.

The trains are currently being built in India and have been plagued with problems. There have been issues with braking, drivers' sightlines, heating, ventilation and air-conditioning.

Ms Palaszczuk said her government was committed to bringing the work to Maryborough.

"When he was Campbell Newman's Treasurer, Tim Nicholls signed the contract for these new trains to be built in India and for jobs to go overseas, but under Labor these trains will be fixed in Queensland by Queenslanders," she said.

"We'll require that this work is done in Maryborough because my government believes that jobs should stay in Queensland and not go overseas, that's why we introduced our Buy Queensland policy."

The LNP has rejected the claims the former government was responsible for the problems with the trains.

LNP transport spokesman Andrew Powell has previously said Downer withdrew from the new train tender process when Ms Palaszczuk was Transport Minister.

"The Premier well knows that there was no Australian company bidding for the NGR contract when, through an independent tender process, the Department of Transport awarded the contract to Bombardier," he said.

"She knows this and yet still lies to Queenslanders to protect her own job - it's disgusting."

Ms Palaszczuk said Downer had already hired 20 new local workers.

Maryborough MP Bruce Saunders said the announcement was a shot in the arm for Maryborough and would boost confidence in the region.

"Maryborough is a proud rail town and the Palaszczuk Government is bringing the rail industry back to this region," he said.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Transport Jackie Trad said the cost of modifications would be met through the existing program budget.

"We've been working hard to resolve the issues with the NGR trains and today is another milestone," she said.

"Downer wants to do this work in Maryborough and a re-elected Palaszczuk Government will make sure that happens."

Ms Trad said that an open-book audit would be required to ensure value for money for the taxpayers.

Topics:  bruce saunders downer labor maryborough new generation rollingstock politics qldelection2017

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