Have stock, need trains
A PRIVATE investor has told a parliamentary committee one of the problems facing the government’s plan to move agriculture products across the state using the rail network is a “distinct lack of trains”.
The Transport, Housing and Local Government Committee has been tasked with investigating options available to the agricultural and livestock industries in a bid to get them using rail instead of road.
Grain X Australia CEO Chris Hood said on Monday the only company that had the capacity to move agriculture products via rail was generally unwilling to do so.
He said his Allora-based company was in a position to do so if it could get access to trains.
“There is huge potential under this proposal,” he said.
“There is no shortage of agriculture products that can be moved by rail instead of trucks.
“However, there is a distinct lack of trains available in Queensland to carry the stock.
“Currently Aurizon is the only company in the state with the capacity and means to transport agriculture freight, but they are not interested in it.”
Mr Hood said rail had become a “sexy topic” of late across the agriculture sector.
“It is on the tip of everyone’s tongues at the moment whereas three years ago nobody was interested in it,” he said.
“We face a current situation where the only provider of rolling stock in Queensland is not interested in agriculture freight.
“There is only one option that I can see as a solution to the problem and that is to introduce a new agriculture freight company.
“It has been successful in other states so I cannot see why it would not work here.”
The committee has a June 10 deadline to deliver its findings to state parliament.