Nat Bromhead

Potential windfall for M'boro after rail committee founded

MARYBOROUGH'S standing as a rail manufacturing powerhouse could be resurrected after the founding of a new state-run rail advisory body.

At least one Downer Rail executive has been confirmed as a member of the Rail Manufacturing Leaders Group, an advisory body comprised of industry experts from across the state that will help improve Queensland's rail industry.

Maryborough, once a leader in the state's rail scene, hosted the group's first meeting last week.

Acting Premier Cameron Dick said the committee would develop a strategy to identify how the state's rail manufacturers could "take full advantage of this investment pipeline and boost Queensland's rail manufacturing sector".

"Australia's pipeline of rail infrastructure is forecast to be worth around $46 billion over the next 10 years," Mr Dick said. "It's estimated around $10 billion of this investment pipeline could be located in Queensland."

The announcement means Maryborough's Downer Rail could stand to gain more rail contracts and jobs in the near future.

Executives from Bombardier, Aurizon, Queensland Rail, Downer and the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union are part of the new committee.

Downer Group's Head of Growth & Development (Rollingstock Services, Transport and Infrastructure) Andrew Spink said the company was eager to work with other Queensland leaders "advance the future of the state's rail industry needs."

Maryborough MP Bruce Saunders said the group's structure reflected the diversity of Queensland's rail sector.

"It's especially pleasing to see industry and unions working together with government to deliver expanded rail manufacturing opportunities for our state," Mr Saunders said.

It follows the $336 million repair bill to fix Queensland's troubled New Generation Rollingstock trains being handed to the Heritage City's Downer EDI factory in December last year.