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Qld transport woes may derail LNP's agriculture pledge
11/07/2012 - Dilapidated transport networks could derail the Queensland government's pledge to double agricultural production, a rural lobby group says.
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Without major investment in road and rail networks, AgForce says the government's commitment to double production by 2040 is a pipe dream.
Last week, the rail safety regulator was forced to suspend all rail services into the state's central west amid concerns about the safety of more than 70 wooden bridges.
Services have since resumed on two of the four affected lines, but with speed and other restrictions in place.
The suspensions are a major problem for primary producers and towns in the region, which rely on rail services to get their produce to market.
AgForce president Brent Finlay says the Newman government will not realise its ambitions for the agricultural sector unless it starts pumping money into transport infrastructure.
"Our primary producers need to have a facility that is in good repair and safe while being accessible and not leaving us competing for carriages with resources companies," he said in a statement on Tuesday.
"Without a strong rail system we will be forced to transport our commodities via road which would not only create safety issues through increased traffic but also further stress a road network that is in many places nowhere near adequate either."
He said Transport Minister Scott Emerson must embark on a tour of regional areas to understand the impact of substandard rail and road networks on farmers.
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TOM M | 11/07/2012 11:23 1
What the hell did the labour Qld government spend the 80 billion on. They borrow this much and items like this rail infrastructure are still in bad state. Frankly I dont think many senior public servants can manager projects well or drive a hard bargain. Also i think a lot of the labour on "public" jobs takes its time as the workers and management see government jobs as a "lurk". What proff do I have, well how many jobs for government ever come in on anywhere near budget. Unions are crowing about $1m not paid by the WA government in super contributions on a site where the job, stadium is $400 million over budget. If everyone was mroe conscientious on doing the job for the quoted price then they would have no hassles paying that money. Its about time the tax payers get some value for money from the public srvice and the inefficient companies doing work for it. The Business council of Australia ahs poited out infrastructure project ehre cost 40-60% mroe in the USA and we need to get to the bottom of why this occurs
Geoff Thomas | 11/07/2012 14:34 2
Rail has been neglected for decades, but folks at that time built well so the deficiencies only now come to the fore, at the time when we need to expand the rail network. Rail is efficient, huge amounts of material using slow wearing parts and much less energy can be moved with little manpower. Big Oil loses, foreign Truck manufacturers lose, but as we now import a huge percentage of our oil and trucks that is a huge benefit for Australia, - could make the carbon tax look like a candle against a searchlight. Rail unions need to only regulate working conditions and safety, not wages, and the huge old bureaucracies associated, demolished. Stimulus money should be spent on Legacy, not Activity, Railways are Legacy.
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