The Queensland Resources Council commends Queensland Rail (QR) on today’s (29th April) opening of the vital economic rail link between Mount Isa and Townsville after it was severely damaged by the north Queensland floods.
QRC Chief Executive Ian Macfarlane said QR CEO Nick Easy and his team worked tirelessly to not only repair the rail but lifted its end of run times.
“I personally thank Nick and the 400-person QR team who were immediately tasked to rebuild the rail and carry out widespread improvements from remote temporary accommodation camps,” Mr Macfarlane said.
“As a result of the 11-week operation the opening is ahead of schedule and will result in reduced transport times by around 50 minutes.
“This rail line is a key transport corridor for Queensland’s metals industry which contributed $9.3 billion to the State’s economy last financial year, supported more than 50,000 full-time jobs and paid $1.3 billion in wages.
“Additionally, the metals industry pays royalty taxes to the Queensland Government which are on target to reach a new record of $5.2 billion this year which pay for schools, hospitals and roads.
QR said the record monsoonal event damaged 200 sites across the 300 kilometre track including repairs to 38 bridge abutments, the replacement of 47 kilometres of rail and 120,000 tonnes of ballast.
The Queensland resources sector provides one in every six dollars in the Queensland economy, sustains one in eight Queensland jobs, and supports more than 16,400 businesses and community organisations across the State all from 0.1 percent of Queensland’s land mass.