Qld Rail to negotiate track closures
QUEENSLAND Rail has opened the door to negotiate with event organisers and publish a list of future track maintenance works to avoid future costly disruptions that recently hit the Ipswich and Caboolture shows.
Moving the scheduled track closures earlier this month at Ipswich and from June 9-11 at Caboolture last minute would have cost millions of dollars.
But Transport Minister Scott Emerson told parliament on Thursday he had asked Queensland Rail to reschedule another Ipswich line closure that would have clashed with V8 supercars at Willowbank on August 4 and 5.
He said a list of maintenance track closures over the next 12 to 18 months would give certainty to football fans, music lovers, show goers and event organisers.
Mr Emerson said Queensland Rail would now consult with event organisers to ensure they could plan their events around track closures well in advance.
He said if changes to closure schedules were necessary, this could be done long before it cost taxpayers.
"It will be a passenger-friendly and community-focused approach," he said.
Mr Emerson told parliament earlier in May it would have cost $370,000 to reschedule the Ipswich line work to avoid a clash with the Ipswich show.
He said on Thursday that the track closures from Toombul to Gympie North coinciding with the Caboolture Show next weekend would cost more than $3 million.
"I have been assured Queensland Rail has met with the Caboolture Show Society chairman Max Herschell and is working with the society and TransLink to ensure there are adequate bus services to the showground," he said.
"Looking further ahead, the Ipswich line between Corinda and Rosewood would be closed August 4 to 5.
"V8 supercar fans might think these dates seems familiar - there's a race on at Willowbank that weekend.
"With the public outrage we saw two years ago when the Labor government did the exact same thing you would think they would have learnt their lesson.
"I ask Queensland Rail for the closure to the Ipswich line be rescheduled to a more appropriate time. Contrast this with the leader of the Opposition who is happy to leave race fans stuck in pit lane."