Started by ozbob, November 02, 2017, 06:37:21 AM
QuoteAurizon has confirmed that their new cattle wagons have been withdrawn from service after multiple safety issues were identified. Queensland Country Life contacted Aurizon about issues surrounding the Chinese-made cattle crates after the LNP Member for Gregory, Lachlan Millar, raised concerns that 'hundreds' of wagons carrying the new crates were lying idle in Emerald."You couldn't write a bigger stuff-up," Mr Millar said. "They need to explain why hundreds of well-made, local-built 'K' wagons were replaced with dodgy, Chinese-made crates which would be flat out holding poddy calves, let alone full-weight bullocks." Mr Millar said the Chinese crates had apparently been falling apart along the tracks with gates falling off and dangerously swinging open along Brisbane train station commuter platforms."The Premier talks about buying local yet her Government blew up to $13 million on these crates that have proved to be poorly-made, lightweight and simply dangerous," he said. Mr Millar said with so many reports of gates and doors falling off, bolts missing and pins falling out, the wagons had been under a "safety pause" for months. "Expect to hear excuses about the older 'K' wagons being past their working-life, but that's rubbish," he said. "I'm told all these (Chinese) wagons sitting at Emerald are going to be sent to the Stuart rail yards in Townsville for cleaning before being hauled to Brisbane for repairs, at what cost to taxpayers? "In the meantime, we need to hear from the Premier and Jackie Trad if any of the 'K' wagons have survived and can be brought back into service before the start of next season."A spokesperson for Aurizon said the company had substituted road haulage services for its livestock customers through to the end of the current season in November. They declined to clarify how many services were impacted. "Aurizon will be working with the Department of Transport and Main Roads, the livestock industry and the manufacturer of the containers to rectify the problems and return the containers to service," the spokesperson said. Murweh Mayor Annie Liston has been working to get the Morven Rail Hub underway and said she was "absolutely gobsmacked" by the issues surrounding the new wagons."It appears limited checks and balances were completed and there was no consultation with real cattleman prior to the contract for the cattle wagons being fulfilled," she said. "I know the wagons have been designed with no vision for the cattle, but what it has also done, is to not allow stock checkers at each stop to see in. They are now forced to be unsafe and check from above to see if any cattle are down, as the wagons are fully enclosed."Cr Liston said she had also heard of doors opening whilst travelling. "Oversights like this that have now cost the community, given no cattle trains are able to run until the issue has been sorted," she said. Cr Liston said she had already raised her concerns with the Department. "Red meat supply chains are vital to this area and I will always be making noises to ensure our industries are protected from poor government decisions," she said. Mr Millar also said the State Government must act quickly to restore services. "Labor are focused only on South East Queensland's rail fail but this is an almighty stuff-up," he said.
QuoteThe stock crates that were designed by TMR to move livestock by rail, it would seem that they even after modifications have now been found to be not fit for purpose and have been withdrawn from service.TMR has now withdrawn the request for tenders for the movement of livestock by rail within Queensland as there is not sufficient suitable rollingstock available to operate these services and has allowed the issuing of additional permits for the road transport of livestock.It is anticipated that these unfit for purpose stock crates will be quietly scrapped at the end of this year.
QuoteCLERMONT grazier and AgForce CQ State Councillor Peter Anderson is throwing his hands up in the air over the rail system debacle."I have been trucking cattle for 35 years and I am still at a loss to why it has taken so long to fix the (door) catches," he said.Mr Anderson, who owns at 7000ha property 65kms north of Clermont running 1400 head of Braford Charlois, said he was "deeply disappointed" when the rail service was cut off from Clermont.A "fairly extensive user of the rail system over the number of years", Mr Anderson said initially it was great to see attention being paid to rail."It was good to see the investment in replacing the old wagons," he said.But all good things come to an end."The big concern is it has taken them seven months to get some trial runs on the rail," Mr Anderson said."I don't know how long they will trial them for and then how long it will take them for them to modify the rest of the fleet."We are looking at months."Dealing with the disconnection of the service has been a "bit of a nightmare", he said.Locals trucks have become sparse as they are put under added pressure to cart extra loads."I have managed to get trucks," Mr Anderson said."You have to book well in advance."The road network is struggling to keep up."Trucking companies are keeping up but they have to bring up trucks from down south."The locals aren't able to keep up."The semantics of booking a truck versus a train is different as well, Mr Anderson said."If you only have 10 or 20 (cattle) to go it was quite easy to go on the rail, you would just book a wagon," Mr Anderson said."At the moment it is not economical to take a truck, you have to work it out with someone else."So it's a lot of work for us."A trial of modified crates is expected to be undertaken at Clermont soon."People want to see it up and running again," Mr Anderson said."It's a reliable services for Clermont, we have had it for decades."We need to get it happening again."Mr Anderson is a "firm believer there is not enough freight on rail"."The rail is there for a reason, it takes all the heavy vehicles off the road," he said."A lot of grain from the grain depot goes on trucks, it could go on a train."General freight has to go on trucks as it goes all over the place but when it goes on a direct route from A to B from the feedlot to the port it could go on the train."Fuel to the mines could also go on trucks, he claimed."There are 150 B-doubles running out of Mackay every day, 24-hours a week, 365 days of the year," Mr Anderson said.."It's going from the port to the mine, it's a straight direct drop-off."It's not going to four to five service stations."They used to have a fuel train but it was done away with 20 years ago."It would have a big adverse effect on the roads with all those extra trucks."As with each issue, it has positives and negatives."But there are companies that have built their company on that and their employees," Mr Anderson said."I'm hoping the trial is successful, let's get this service going again.".
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