Letter to the Editor

Kuranda scenic railway next to go?

As we all know the Queensland Labor government are well and truly broke from poor decisions made by people who couldn’t run a bath. Queensland Rail is a prime example.

The only trains on the Kuranda rail line are for passengers from Cairns to Kuranda. Queensland Rail has abandoned freight leaving heavy trucks to wreck local roads and have accidents on the dangerous Kuranda Range Road

Does anyone remember when freight was hauled by locomotives up and down the Kuranda range to service Cairns, Atherton, Mareeba and Cape York?

Fresh produce, meat, sugar, molasses, grains, fuel, cement, cattle, steel, marble, slate, timber, building materials, groceries and general freight were the backbone of Queensland Rail in the Far North employing hundreds directly and servicing thousands of Queenslanders.

It was the perfect system to keep large trucks off the dangerous, winding Kuranda range and small country roads, securing fresh produce for Cairns international airport for export, Cairns Port for sea transfer also further south for our Queensland brothers and sisters.

All gone now thanks to the mismanagement of Queensland Labor government.

Cairns misses out completely with fresh produce and freight now going directly down the Palmerston Range straight to Brisbane by road transport.
Now days fresh produce travels by road to Brisbane markets then comes back to Cairns and the far north doing about 4000km and who knows how many days.

It’s about to get much worse.

Queensland Rail seems to be abandoning freight all together, the latest refusal from Queensland Rail freight services was to the Cairns regional council for a contract to haul Cairns waste rubbish from the trommel at Portsmith transfer station to be disposed of at the Mareeba landfill

Queensland Rail has sold all remaining freight locomotives for scrap, leaving three 60 year old locomotives for the Kuranda range tourist train only, two for daily service and one for emergency rescue which means if one locomotive is decommissioned the service is finished. Queensland Rail sold all the sister locomotives for spare parts no longer having parts to fix the three remaining old locomotives.

I don’t like uncovering a problem without a solution and yep, I got one

Let’s get the freight back on the rail where it belongs and produce going to a new market in Cairns. Lets get cold storage at Cairns airport again for fresh direct export. It will save the Kuranda scenic railway and add new rail freight infrastructure, make our roads safer and last longer along with employment for families, build new opportunities for our farmers, but most of all securing sustainable fresh affordable local food supplies for Far North Queenslanders.


Jase FNQ