Too costly to cancel shut down
RESCHEDULING planned rail track maintenance to avoid clashing with the Ipswich Show would cost taxpayers $370,000.
Transport Minister Scott Emerson told parliament yesterday he was "disappointed" the Ipswich train line would be shut down the same weekend as the Ipswich Show, which has run since 1866.
But he said the cost to taxpayers was too great to reschedule the track work at this "late stage".
He blamed the previous government for setting down the scheduled maintenance, which would affect many of the 25,000 patrons who planned to commute, in January before he became minister.
Mr Emerson said as someone born at Ipswich he found it extraordinary the last transport minister allowed this to occur.
As reported in The Queensland Times yesterday, the latest closure will be the 14th in the past 16 months and has angered the Ipswich Show Society and Ipswich City Council. Queensland Rail services will be closed from 8pm tonight until Monday morning and replaced by buses.
The show society provides a shuttle bus from Ipswich station to the showgrounds and hopes it won't dampen the show's appeal.