Hundreds of jobs for manufacturing workers in the Maryborough region are a step closer.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk today announced Downer was the preferred supplier to build and deliver 65 next generation trains as part of the Queensland Train Manufacturing Program.
“At the 2020 election I committed to building 20 new trains in Maryborough,” the Premier said.
“Our planning has indicated there is a need for another 45 trains.
“That means 800 good, secure jobs here in Maryborough to deliver 65 trains.
“Supporting jobs in traditional industries like manufacturing is important, especially in regional centres like Maryborough.
“This will be a game changer that secures the future of manufacturing for Maryborough.
“Downer has a strong track record of delivering here in Australia, and around the world, so Queensland’s future fleet is in good hands.
“By 2032, we’ll have a Queensland-built fleet of trains that we can proudly call our own.”
Treasurer and Minister for Trade and Investment Cameron Dick said the decision highlighted the manufacturing capability of regional Queensland.
“The pandemic reminded us just how important it is for our state to be able to stand on its own two feet when global supply chains are affected by external events,” the Treasurer said.
“Building these trains here will utilise the existing skills base that was first established in Maryborough when Walkers opened in 1867.
“But it will also sustain a new generation of workers with the highly specialised skills needed for an operation like this.”
Downer was one of three shortlisted applicants – selected after a robust procurement.
The trains will be built at a state owned facility, set to be constructed 25 kilometres north of Maryborough at Torbanlea. Construction of this facility will begin later this year.
Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said the program would also deliver ongoing new rail maintenance jobs at facilities in South-East Queensland.
“The proposal put forward by Downer offered strong value for money, leading-edge accessibility and a modern design, whilst delivering maximum benefit to the region and to our great state” Mr Bailey said.
“What we want is a superior level of service for commuters and tourists alike as we respond to population growth, the Olympic and Paralympic Games and beyond.
“The Palaszczuk Government will now work closely with Downer to undertake detailed design on the trains to ensure they are customer-focussed and fully accessible for passengers.
“We’ve also listened to Queensland Rail customers and the trains will have bike racks and USB mobile phone charging stations to make travelling a breeze for commuters.”
Assistant Minster for Train Manufacturing and Regional Roads, Member for Maryborough Bruce Saunders welcomed the announcement.
“Only a strong Labor government delivers for our community,” Mr Saunders said.
“Thanks to the $7.1 billion commitment made by the Premier, we’ll see 800 construction and manufacturing jobs supported here in Maryborough over ten years.
“That’s 800 jobs, supporting families, keeping skills in the region and supporting the overall economy.
“This is big news for Queensland, for Maryborough and for commuters far and wide.”
Member for Hervey Bay Adrian Tantari said the Palaszczuk Government placed such a strong emphasis on benefits for the Fraser Coast community.
“We want the next generation to play a key role in the construction of the 65 new six-car trains,” Mr Tantari said.
“Through this program, we’re partnering with the Department of Education to provide young people in the region with a pathway into a skilled job opportunity in our own back yard.
“We’re not just backing Queensland made trains, we’re investing in skills, training and pathways into the industry.”
Regional Development and Manufacturing Minister Glenn Butcher said Queensland manufacturers are some of the best in the world.
“It’s fantastic to be part of the Palaszczuk Labor Government that’s bringing train manufacturing back to local workshops,” Minister Butcher said.
“If we can make it here in Queensland, then there’s absolutely no reason why we shouldn’t be.
“We’re now right on track to creating more good jobs and boosting services.”
- Downer will build 65 new six-car trains and associated infrastructure, in Queensland, by Queenslanders, for Queenslanders.
- 800 jobs supported in the region
- Delivered as part of the $7.1 billion Queensland made Train Manufacturing Program.
- The trains will begin rolling out onto the South East Queensland rail network from 2026.
- The Queensland made Train Manufacturing Program will create up to 3000 jobs in construction and manufacturing across Queensland.
The Queensland made Train Manufacturing Program includes:
- construction of 65 six-car passenger trains
- construction of a purpose-built manufacturing facility in the Maryborough region for major manufacturing/assembly works for the new fleet
- construction of a new rail facility (for train maintenance and stabling) in Ormeau
- the ongoing operation and maintenance of the fleet and rail facility.