Cattle trains continue, but no agreement on service

Qld Government won't stop cattle train services, promising to nut out agreement with Queensland Rail and AgForce

The Queensland Government says it will not stop cattle train services, promising that meetings to be held with Queensland Rail and AgForce will improve the sustainability and reliability of services.

There has been concern over the future of cattle rail transportation, after the meat industry made it clear some train services had been cancelled or temporarily suspended.

Queensland Minister for Transport Rachel Nolan says because only 10 percent of Queensland stock movements are by rail, QR operates the services at a loss.

But she assures the cattle industry the solution is two-party negotiation and not permanent cancellation.

"This is a complex issue. QR has fixed costs such as locomotives and wagons and limited train paths, whereas the meat industry is variable depending on issues such as climate and demand," Simpsons says.

"Finding a balance between high fixed costs and variable demand is the challenge we are working with AgForce and industry on.

"But that doesn’t mean cutting services, it means working together to find a solution for the future."

Shadow Minister for Transport Fiona Simpson says Nolan’s commitments to the meat industry are "lukewarm" and she needs to provide a long-term plan for the continuation of regular and convenient services.

"Cattle train services are already being cancelled without notice and producers are being asked sign up for long haul contracts," Simpson says.

"I call on Minister Nolan to give a personal guarantee that these services will continue."

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