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Offline ozbob

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Article: Workers fear job losses
« on: May 09, 2009, 07:13:12 PM »
From Fraser Coast Chronicle 8th May 2009 page 5

Workers fear job losses

Workers fear job losses
Fears QR will look overseas for cheaper contracts

Unease is growing about the future of Maryborough's economy because Queensland Rail has called for expressions of interest from both Australian and overseas tenders for a new project. The EOI for the new Citytrain fleet is currently being processed but Member for Maryborough Chris Foley said he had been approached by business people who feared QR might choose an overseas company instead of Downer EDI Rail and Bombardier because it would be cheaper.

"In these tough economic times people are concerned that an overseas company might get the job instead," he said.

"If that were the case it could potentially mean 700 jobs lost in Maryborough - 500 employed with the two companies and 200 from some of the smaller manufacturing business.

"Those job losses could have real ramifications ... the reality is, in these very difficult times, we can't afford to lose Queensland jobs."

Before the state election in March premier Anna Bligh awarded Downer EDI and Bombardier a contract to built 20 new passenger trains for Queensland Rail at a cost of $327 million.

That extended the contract with Downer EDI beyond 2010 and safeguarded 100 jobs. This was on top of an order of 44 passenger trains which EDI is presently building.

Queensland Rail passenger executive general manger Paul Scurrah said QR had enjoyed a long working relationship with Downer EDI.

"Downer EDI/Bombardier joint venture Maryborough is also doing work for QR's coal business, building 40 diesel locomotives and overhauling a further 19 electric coal locomotives at a cost of $263 million," he said.

"Together these rail contracts are supporting hundreds of direct and many more indirect jobs in the Wide Bay region."

Mr Foley said he would raise the issue in parliament and speak with Premier Anna Bligh and her deputy, Paul Lucas, in person. Downer EDI Rail or Bombardier were unable to make comment yesterday.
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Dean Quick

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Re: Article: Workers fear job losses
« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2009, 09:26:15 AM »
There is no need to look overseas when we have a very capable local manufacturer. If QR does indeed choose a cheaper,inferior overseas manufactured product we should all prepare ourselves for a long introduction time whilst drivers and maintainance staff are familiarised with the new trains. Then of course there will be many months of costly breakdowns and retro modifications to the new trains in order to suit local conditions. The impact on services whilst this is occuring would be devastating.One only has to look at what has happened in Melbourne to the problem plagued overseas introduced trains there!! Imports may be cheaper initially but will ultimately cost more in the long term. The product from the hard working staff of EDI Marybrough may cost more but it is a successful design and has proven very reliable in sevice and they have every right to be proud of this. All rollingstock should remain locally built.

Offline Derwan

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Re: Article: Workers fear job losses
« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2009, 02:54:46 PM »
I agree with Dean.

Perhaps a reason for looking elsewhere is the apparent slowness in building the trains and not just the cost?  We were supposed to be getting 1 train per month - but it's more like 1 carriage per month if that.
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