Ten­der de­ci­sion threat­ens jobs

Townsville Bulletin - - Investor -

MORE than 1000 Aus­tralian jobs will be threat­ened by train man­u­fac­turer Downer EDI’s de­ci­sion to pull out of a Queens­land Rail ten­der to build new rolling stock.

Downer EDI has pulled out of a global ten­der to pro­vide Queens­land Rail with 200 three-car sets.

The Queens­land Gov­ern­ment an­nounced in Oc­to­ber last year it would in­vest $ 189 mil­lion to buy an­other tilt train and up­grade its ex­ist­ing two.

The work was to be car­ried out at Mary­bor­ough’s Downer EDI fa­cil­ity, sup­port­ing 800 di­rect and in­di­rect jobs in that re­gion.

The step was also meant to sup­port the com­pany so it could com­pete for a fu­ture lu­cra­tive QR con­tract.

In an email to staff, Downer EDI said the de­ci­sion was not taken lightly.

‘‘ In Downer EDI’s view, the terms and con­di­tions . . . re­lat­ing to the bid and the terms and con­di­tions of the con­tract are too oner­ous, and the risks borne by the con­trac­tor are too great, to pro­ceed with the bid and in­cur ten­der costs in ex­cess of $ 10 mil­lion,’’ the email said.

Premier Anna Bligh said she hoped the com­pany’s joint ven­ture part­ner Bom­bardier would con­tinue with the bid.

‘‘I’m very dis­ap­pointed with Downer EDI. The Queens­land Gov­ern­ment backed them with the tilt train con­tract. Un­for­tu­nately they haven’t backed them­selves,’’ she said.

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