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THE railworks is the heart of Maryborough, AMWU delegate Peter Killeen says.
Mr Killeen, who helped spearhead the campaign that convinced the State Government to award Downer EDI a slice of a $400 million rail maintenance contract, said when the train works were doing well, the whole town felt confident.
It had been a tough time for Maryborough after the Bombardier works was mothballed in 2015 amid fears other jobs would go as well.
But after a vocal 18-month campaign, the State Government came good with the maintenance contract that meant new jobs in the town.
“We have been pushing the pollies down in Brisbane and they are finally listening,” Mr Killeen said.
“They have saved this town. It’s great to see Downer have faith in regional Queensland. We are putting on apprentices.”
AMWU delegate and fifth generation Maryborough local Peter Killeen fought hard to retain jobs in the region. Picture: Lachie MillardHe said Maryborough had a proud history of manufacturing, with five generations going through its rail works.
“Every train that was running in Brisbane was built in this town,” he said.
Under the contract, Queensland Rail negotiated a $400 million maintenance contract with Downer’s Maryborough rail centre and UGL in Townsville, with Downer doing rolling stock maintenance and overhaul works.
With the contract came confidence, Mr Killeen said.
“The expertise we have in this town is amazing,” he said. “We’ve had five generations through the place.”
Regional manufacturing offered good, stable, well-paid jobs, he said, where young people could gain an apprenticeship that would give them the confidence to buy a car or a house and give back to the town.
This article first appeared on www.couriermail.com.au
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