State Government invest $7.1bn in train infrastructure for QLD

Monica Gameng   |   October 23, 2021
Queensland Rail train (cr: Wikipedia)

The Queensland Government has announced a massive $7.1 billion investment in train infrastructure that will boost the state’s train manufacturing industry as well as create thousands of jobs and help rebuilt the Queensland economy. 

Jobs creation in manufacturing is a vital part of Queensland’s COVID-19 Economic Recovery Plan. 

The multi-billion-dollar investment will build and operate about 65 trains, which will push the state to become Australia’s rail manufacturing powerhouse. 

“We’re investing in manufacturing to create long-term, secure jobs in regional Queensland. 

“It’s now clear we’ll need a full complement of trains to cater for growth in years to come. 

“That’s why we’re committing to build 65 trains, right here in Maryborough. 

“I want Queensland to benefit from this $7.1 billion investment. That means jobs for workers throughout our state,” Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said. 

The Premier added that the manufacturing of trains is the next step to the delivery of Brisbane’s first underground rail system, Cross River Rail, which is progressing well. 

The Queensland Government’s Rail Expansion Program is projected to create up to 3,000 jobs in construction and manufacturing across the state, leading up to the 2032 Olympics. 

Investing in Queensland-made trains is expected to create long-term quality jobs for years to come. 

“This investment in publicly-owned manufacturing facilities will support thousands of jobs well into the future. 

“Importantly, this commitment will include minimum local content requirements, along with the best industry standards, meaning we’re supporting Queenslander workers,” Treasurer Cameron Dick said. 

This significant rail investment will help secure jobs as well as training opportunities for a generation of workers in Queensland. 

The pipeline of works under this investment will include the construction of a $239 million purpose-built, publicly-owned train manufacturing facility located north of Maryborough in Torbanlea. 

“We are delivering a pipeline of work over the next decade that will support up to 800 construction and manufacturing jobs here in Maryborough. 

“Not only are we delivering trains, this $7.1 billion investment includes new rail infrastructure in the South-East and ongoing maintenance of Queensland’s newest fleet,” Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said. 

According to Member for Maryborough Bruce Saunders, land where the new train building facility at Torbanlea has already been chosen and the process to acquire the property – which is within 25 kilometres of the Maryborough CBD – is now underway. 

“The Palaszczuk Government’s commitment to build 65 trains in Maryborough will lock in jobs and economic growth for our region. 

“Regional manufacturing is a key part of the Palaszczuk Government’s COVID-19 Economic Recovery Plan and this is a big boost for not just Maryborough but the whole state. 

“Maryborough will soon be delivering the best new trains in Australia – they'll be modern and accessible – and the Heritage City should be proud of that,” Mr Saunders said. 

Member for Hervey Bay Adrian Tantari said that the historic commitment in train manufacturing will benefit the entire Wide Bay region. 

“Building this new, publicly-owned factory in Torbanlea will not only help Maryborough, it will also support jobs and businesses in Hervey Bay. 

“This investment, on the doorstep of Hervey Bay, will have a massive flow-on effect for years to come,” Mr Tantari said. 

Currently, there are three train manufacturers competing for the existing contract that will build 20 trains in Maryborough – delivered under the Rail Expansion Program – and these manufacturers will be given an opportunity to bid for the increased order for 65 trains. 

The three companies are Alstom, CAF and Downer Rail. 

The contract to build the 65 trains – which will be utilised on the South-East Queensland rail network – is anticipated to be awarded in the second half of 2022 and the construction of the Torbanlea facility will follow. 

As Rockhampton is going to be part of the supply chain to build trains in Maryborough, the city and the wider Central Queensland region will also benefit from the $7.1 billion investment. 

“We’re in the process of acquiring the Rockhampton Rail Workshops, and now this historic investment in Queensland rail manufacturing and supply will no doubt attract more rail suppliers to the region. 

“Once set up, the Rockhampton Rail Workshops have the potential to play a pivotal role in the supply chain. 

“The industry can come to Central Queensland with confidence, knowing the Palaszczuk Government is committed to keeping rail manufacturing and supply local,” Member for Rockhampton Barry O’Rourke said. 

Source: Queensland Government – Media Statements (1, 2); 7News; ABC News 

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Monica Gameng
As Felix's Marketing Assistant since 2015, Monica is responsible for researching and sharing new and progressing projects within the construction and mining sectors in Australia. It's no surprise that Monica has her finger on the pulse of Australian major projects given she has produced more than 1,000 posts. She truly is an industry expert.
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