Rail depot's 200 jobs on the way

CONSTRUCTION on the $110 million Wulkuraka train maintenance depot is set to begin this year, creating 200 jobs and rejuvenating Ipswich's rail industry.

The announcement comes a week after 85 positions at Aurizon workshops at Redbank were axed.

The Ada St site will service 75 of QR's six-car rolling stock fleet.

The purpose-built maintenance centre is part of the New Generation Rollingstock Project, bringing increased passenger services and more rail jobs for Ipswich.

The project is currently in the final bidding phase by two proponents with the contract expected to be awarded later this year.

Ipswich West MP Sean Choat said the project was the greatest investment in Ipswich rail since the Redbank Railway workshops were built and was expected to provide employment for the next 30 years.

"The delivery and maintenance of the facility and the new trains means Ipswich can once again look forward to a future as a major rail city, something not seen for decades," he said.

"It's time for the city to look forward to opportunities in rail instead of the record of the past two decades where we saw Labor close the North Ipswich Workshops and then sell off QR."

Nearly 40 submissions were made raising concerns about the traffic, noise, environment, aesthetics and affect on property values the depot could have.

The majority came from residents in the Wulkuraka area.

Councillor Cheryl Bromage said the majority still felt their concerns have not been properly heard.

She said the residents had called for a meeting with the project team but it was yet to be arranged.

"If the residents want meetings you just organise them. You just do it. They have been asking and asking and asking for it," she said.

Resident Shirley Stevenson said the community wanted to talk to someone face to face about their concerns.

Mr Choat said the report was just the beginning and the community could further consultation.

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