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Qld rail decision appalling.



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Senator the Hon Ian Macdonald Parliamentary Secretary for Northern Australia Liberal Senator for Queensland

MEDIA RELEASE

QLD RAIL DECISION APPALLING

Opposition Spokesman for Northern Australia, Senator Ian Macdonald, has labelled the decision by Queensland Rail to cut livestock services to North-Western Queensland and increase freight charges as appalling.

“The Bligh Labor Government really does seem to hate the bush. To stop loading cattle from major centres such as Hughenden, Richmond and Charters Towers is just ridiculous.”

“This area is home to some of the largest cattle stations in Australia. How are these people going to get their cattle to market?”

“Having recently driven myself on some of the run-down beef roads in the north-west, I can say with certainty that putting more cattle trucks onto the roads is not the answer.”

“Infrastructure and Planning Minister Paul Lucas was in North-West Queensland just the other day. Finding rail services he could cut was clearly one of the reasons for his visit.”

“I call on Mr Lucas and Transport Minister John Mickel to urgently reverse this decision that will hurt these country towns.”

“This is going to cause job losses in towns and on farms in the middle of tough economic times. It will hurt meat processing businesses and Australia’s exports. Extra freight charges will increase the domestic price of beef too, at a time when Working Families are finding it harder than ever to put food on the table.”

“Yet again, Queensland Labor has shown its contempt for the North,” Senator Macdonald said.

ENDS

6 November 2008

Media Contact: Troy Reeves (07) 4771 3066