Have stock, need trains

Central and North Burnett Times - - NATIONAL & WORLD NEWS -

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.