$400 million contract will help secure 200 jobs
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MARYBOROUGH'S Downer EDI will share in a $400 million maintenance contract which will secure the jobs of 200 workers at the factory for seven years.
The Chronicle can reveal Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has directed Queensland Rail to negotiate the $400 million maintenance contract with Downer's Maryborough centre and UGL in Townsville.
YOUR REACTION ONLINE
HerveyB - Pialba: "Wonderful news for Maryborough, and hopefully it will be the start of greater things to come, with more contracts for the firm in Maryborough."
Ragamuffin4 - Maryborough: "About time our political parties woke up and started supporting Australian workers as the modern trend of today with all politicians is support overseas company's and forgot about when Australian workers are employed they pay taxes, but when unemployed they cost Australian tax payers money and when all said and done wasn't it a labor party that gave all the contracts to china that would have maintained a strong workfoce at edi in Maryborough."
Terry01 - Harristown: "And along will come the union and decide when work will take place all because they don't want anyone looking into the running's of their business. Don't worry about the workers who actually pay the union leaders how they will get on financially during your strike, just use them as your pawns for your political agenda."
Downer EDI is expected to receive about half of that $400 million package of rolling stock maintenance and overhaul works.
Maryborough MP Bruce Saunders said the partnership would provide vital projects for Downer and its Maryborough workforce of more than 200.
"This is the start of a revitalisation of Maryborough - this is just the start," he said.
"I was elected to protect the future of Downer and that's certainly what I and this government is doing.
"This will secure the future of Downer and the future of Maryborough."
Projects will include the overhaul and modification of Queensland Rail's L-series carriages, the diesel Tilt Trains, train units, locomotives and wheel sets.
The contract announcement comes as a grassroots campaign to save Maryborough manufacturing jobs was held at the City Hall last night.
Ahead of her visit to Maryborough this afternoon Ms Palaszczuk said the State Government direction would create a pipeline of guaranteed work for seven years to support jobs.
"My focus is on jobs for Queenslanders, especially in regional Queensland," she said.
"This announcement is a vote of confidence in the future of the Queensland railway industry and reflects my government's determination to ensure it can flourish as an important part of our state's economy."
Treasurer Curtis Pitt said Queensland Rail had $400 million in planned maintenance and overhaul projects needed for its rolling stock over the next seven years which would provide a steady stream of local work.