68 jobs gone at Downer with govt contract under review

State Secretary for the AMWU Andrew Dettmer outside Downer EDI in Maryborough.
State Secretary for the AMWU Andrew Dettmer outside Downer EDI in Maryborough. Karleila Thomsen

JOB losses at Downer EDi have hit hard, with 68 people given the sack and one of the company's major Maryborough-based projects under review.

A Downer spokesman confirmed 28 people lost their jobs in forced redundancies announced on Friday, while 22 people chose to accept pay-outs.

The company warned last month that about 50 positions would be lost - up to one in five workers - as the company moved to scrap "surplus employees".

But a wave of additional cuts came as a shock to staff when a further 18 lost their jobs in the engineering department.

"The 18 drafters were all on contracts, labour hire, casual or similar... and are separate from the 50 redundancies announced last month," Downer Group spokesman Michael Sharp said.

In total, there have been 68 jobs scrapped, affecting all departments dealing with passenger trains in Maryborough.

"There are not any more planned redundancies that I'm aware of," Mr Sharp said.

He said Downer's Maryborough labour force was still working on several locomotives, plus contracts for passenger trains bound for Western Australia and Queensland Rail's new Sunlander Tilt Train.

The Sunlander project, for two diesel tilt trains and 12 carriages, is worth $189 million, with the project on schedule to have the first new carriages rolled out next year.

However, a Queensland Rail spokesperson said QR was reviewing all of its major projects to ensure its investments in rail infrastructure were "the best value for money for Queenslanders".

"Queensland Rail remains committed to the Sunlander project, a significant investment in the future rollingstock needs of the Queensland rail travel business," the spokesperson said.

"Consideration will be given to ensuring the Sunlander project remains within budget."

Topics:  business economy employment queensland government redundancies

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