Queensland Govt renews rail freight contracts with Aurizon
The state government has also made a number of improvements to the contracts that will benefit Queensland farmers and producers
The Queensland government has recently renewed two key contracts – the Regional Freight Transport Services Contract (RFTSC) and the Livestock Transport Services Contract (LTSC) – that will ensure over 900 rail-freight services for regional Queensland farmers.
Both the contracts have been negotiated with Aurizon to the end of December 2017.
Transport minister Stirling Hinchliffe says the government has made a number of improvements to the contracts in order to make rail freight services "even more attractive to producers".
"These contracts will ensure cattle producers continue to have access to more than 300 cattle train services each year to transport livestock from regional hubs such as Cloncurry, Julia Creek, Winton, Clermont and Quilpie.
"That’s in addition to the 624 rail freight services which will continue to be provided annually to support the import and export trade in Queensland and general freight rail services in the Central West."
Aside from providing services to local producers and farmers, Hinchliffe says the renewed contracts will also provide economic benefits and employment opportunities in the region.
"The renewed contracts include the introduction of performance targets and an increased focus on customer service.
"Additionally, the Palaszczuk Government has also agreed to purchase new cattle crates to provide more diverse transport options for customers and rail operators.
"The new cattle crates, intended to be loaded onto standard 40-foot, flat-bed wagon rolling stock, will initially be purchased for Aurizon but will later become available for any future rail operators.
The Department of Transport and Main Roads will undertake an open tender process for future rail services beyond 2017.