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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Transport & Main Roads
    The Honourable Paul Lucas

    OPTIMISM SPURS MAJOR QR INVESTMENT

    Minister for Transport & Main Roads
    The Honourable Paul Lucas

    Tuesday, June 15, 2004

    OPTIMISM SPURS MAJOR QR INVESTMENT

    The Beattie Government will drive QR forward in the next financial year with a $622 million program of capital works for 2004-2005, Transport and Main Roads Minister, Paul Lucas said today.

    Mr Lucas said the 2004/05 State Budget contained a big capital works' program which was designed to further grow QR's business, despite increasing competition in the transport sector.

    "QR will be expanding infrastructure, especially for its export coal business in Central Queensland, Mr Lucas said.

    "$195 million will be spent developing the Bauhinia rail project in Central Queensland in 2004-2005.

    "QR has been selected by major mining company, Xstrata, to supply rail construction and haulage for the development. It expects to be hauling coal from the mine at Rolleston from November next year with tonnage growing to 8 million tonnes annually by 2008."

    Mr Lucas said more than $30 million would be spent upgrading QR's fleet of electric and diesel locomotives to support the coal industry.

    This work would comprise the assembly of 4000 class diesel electric locomotives at EDI, Maryborough and the upgrade of electric locomotives in a prototype project at Goninans North Queensland, Townsville.

    Mr Lucas said QR was also upgrading passenger services.

    Preliminary work would begin on the upgrade of the Gold Coast line, which would provide duplication between Coomera and Ormeau and a third track between Salisbury and Kuraby.

    As well, more than $28.6 million will be spent on improved access to Citytrain and stations for people with a disability. Together with current programs, QR expected to top $150 million in expenditure on the provision of improved access by 2006-2007.

    The main components of improved access on the Citytrain network were the refitting of older cars, the upgrading of stations and the provision of lifts at Corinda and Mitchelton stations.

    Access also would be improved to stations between Longreach and Rockhampton at a cost of $2.5 million.

    Passenger comfort would be enhanced with an upgrading of Citytrain cars, which would include the provision of improved lighting and new seat and floor covers. This would cost $8.5 million in 2004-2005.

    Reliability of the rail system will also be improved with $18 million allocated in the State Budget to replace timber bridges in regional areas and in Brisbane.

    "This is a comprehensive package of investment which will consolidate QR at the forefront of the rail industry in Australia," Mr Lucas said.

    "QR is well placed to further grow its business and build on gains in recent years."

    Media contact - Alison Smith 3237 1947 / 0407 166 084 or Paul Childs 3237 1942 / 0407 131 654