The Queensland Government has awarded the contract to build and deliver 65 next generation trains in the Maryborough region.

The project is part of the Queensland Train Manufacturing Program and is set to create hundreds of jobs for manufacturing workers.

The contract has been awarded to Downer.

Queensland Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, said the initial plan was to build 20 new trains in Maryborough but planning indicated a need for another 45 trains.

“That means 800 good, secure jobs here in Maryborough to deliver 65 trains,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“This will be a game changer that secures the future of manufacturing for Maryborough.

“Downer has a strong track record of delivering here in Australia, and around the world, so Queensland’s future fleet is in good hands.”

Queensland Treasurer and Minister for Trade and Investment, Cameron Dick, said the decision highlighted the manufacturing capability of regional Queensland.

“The pandemic reminded us just how important it is for our state to be able to stand on its own two feet when global supply chains are affected by external events,” Mr Dick said.

“Building these trains here will utilise the existing skills base that was first established in Maryborough when Walkers opened in 1867.

“But it will also sustain a new generation of workers with the highly specialised skills needed for an operation like this.”

Downer was one of three shortlisted applicants – selected after a robust procurement.

The trains will be built at a state owned facility, set to be constructed 25km north of Maryborough at Torbanlea. Construction of this facility will begin later into 2023.

Queensland Transport and Main Roads Minister, Mark Bailey, said the program would also deliver ongoing new rail maintenance jobs at facilities in South-East Queensland.

“The proposal put forward by Downer offered strong value for money, leading-edge accessibility and a modern design, whilst delivering maximum benefit to the region and to our great state” Mr Bailey said.

“What we want is a superior level of service for commuters and tourists alike as we respond to population growth, the Olympic and Paralympic Games and beyond. 

“The Palaszczuk Government will now work closely with Downer to undertake detailed design on the trains to ensure they are customer-focussed and fully accessible for passengers.

Queensland Member for Hervey Bay, Adrian Tantari, said the Queensland Government placed such a strong emphasis on benefits for the Fraser Coast community.

“Through this program, we’re partnering with the Department of Education to provide young people in the region with a pathway into a skilled job opportunity in our own back yard.

“We’re not just backing Queensland made trains, we’re investing in skills, training and pathways into the industry.”

Queensland Regional Development and Manufacturing Minister, Glenn Butcher, said Queensland manufacturers are some of the best in the world and that it was great to see train manufacturing brought back to local workshops.

“If we can make it here in Queensland, then there’s absolutely no reason why we shouldn’t be.

“We’re now right on track to creating more good jobs and boosting services.”

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