Minister claims rail sale will create jobs

TRANSPORT Minister Rachel Nolan has dismissed fears that jobs will be lost at Redbank's Rail Workshops when Queensland Rail's coal division is privatised.

In fact, Ms Nolan said the move would create jobs - a suggestion described as “ludicrous” by the state president of the Rail Tram and Bus Union, Bruce Mackie.

Ms Nolan disputed the city's rail workers' claims that she had betrayed them, and that up to 500 of their colleagues would be made redundant when QR was sold off.

“It is not true that there will be 500 job losses at Redbank as a result of the decision to sell the coal carrying parts of QR businesses,” Ms Nolan said.

“I am confident that QR workers are as good as those in the private sector, and that a privatised coal business will grow, prosper and create more jobs just as a business like Qantas did once it was privatised.”

Mr Mackie stuck to his union's claims that mass job losses would be inevitable under privatisation.

“I'm a bit astounded by Ms Nolan's comments, they are ludicrous. There'll be 400-500 job losses for sure,” he said.

Mr Mackie said the new owners would have to turn Redbank Rail Workshops into a sweatshop to compete with off-shore companies who would offer parts and labour too cheap for a private rail business to ignore.

“Does Ms Nolan think QR should reduce their workers' wages to compete with Chinese companies?” he said.

Ms Nolan said discussions on how to best manage the transformation of QR's coal department at Redbank, were ongoing.

• Do you think the sell-off will cost jobs? SMS your views to 0407 088 442.



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