Ridiculous reason for Qld's latest $10m train fix
LABOR'S election-eve jobs pledge to fix design flaws with the state's new train fleet in Maryborough will cost taxpayers $10 million as the trains are too long for the local workshop.
Transport Minister Mark Bailey announced on Tuesday the funds would be spent upgrading Downer EDI's Maryborough manufacturing plant to "better accommodate six-car trains".
Works include upgrading powerlines, installing new track and extra cranes.
The workshop is designed to repair the state's existing three-car trains, but the $4.4 billion New Generation Rollingstock fleet is designed as six-car sets.
This is just the latest hurdle to strike the beleaguered NGR rollout and follows Deputy Premier Jackie Trad announcing $150 million of NGR rectifications last year, including access design issues and non-compliant toilets.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced during last year's election campaign that the repairs would be handled by Downer's Maryborough plant under Labor's local jobs policy, despite Canadian firm Bombardier holding the contract to build the 75 new trains.
It formed part of Labor's campaign strategy and came as its MP in Maryborough Bruce Saunders fought to hold his ultra-marginal seat. Labelled the "Save Bruce Strategy", the funding was on top of a $70 million upgrade already announced by Labor for the Downer plant following a union-backed local jobs campaign.
Downer rail chief executive Michael Miller in March downplayed concerns about whether the new trains could fit in the workshop, saying the cost of upgrades would be "small beer".
Mr Miller said on Tuesday it had since found it would be "beneficial to have a six-car test shed to enable a more appropriate testing process".
Both sides of politics have agreed to release papers on the delayed NGR project.