Rail, Tram and Bus Union’s Central District organiser Craig Allen believes the QR share offer sells out Queenslanders.
Rail, Tram and Bus Union’s Central District organiser Craig Allen believes the QR share offer sells out Queenslanders. Megan Lewis

QR campaign does not deliver

THE QR share float fails to guarantee that regional Queensland will be safe from freight service cutbacks, job losses or price increases, according to the Rail, Tram and Bus Union (RBTU).

RTBU Central District organiser Craig Allen said the current $186 million sales campaign provided plenty of slick images but no reassurances that regional freight services and jobs would remain.

“What legally binding guarantees has the Government given that a privatised QR will not close down a substantial part of Queensland Rail’s non-coal freight business within the first three years of the sale,” Mr Allen said.

“And what legally binding guarantees has the government given that railway workshops will not be closed down after the sale.

Launching the QR National Share Offer ahead of its planned listing on the Australian Securities Exchange, the Queensland Premier said the price range for the QR National Share Offer is between $2.50 and $3a share, with individual investors to pay no more than $2.80 per share.

“Why should Queenslanders buy something they already own,” Mr Allen said. “What guarantee can the Bligh government give to the people of Queensland that a privatised QR will not transfer most of its non-coal freight from rail to road?” he asked.

Mr Allen said the Bligh Government needed to emerge from its $186 million political spin campaign and tell the truth to the Queensland public.

Independent Member for Gladstone Liz Cunningham is still opposed to the privatisation.

“In spite of the premier’s talk of more jobs in QR as a result of privatisation, the closest similar privatisation (in size) is Telstra and to date, thousands have lost their jobs, service has deteriorated particularly in regional Queensland,” she said.

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