MENDING FENCES: Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Maryborough MP Bruce Saunders with rail workers.
MENDING FENCES: Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Maryborough MP Bruce Saunders with rail workers. DARREN ENGLAND

Saunders defends govt decision to repair faulty trains

MARYBOROUGH Labor MP Bruce Saunders has defended his government's decision to keep building faulty state-owned trains overseas, citing contractual obligations.

It follows revelations the trains would need to be transported to Maryborough to fix major design flaws with the toilet cubicles.

The move will cost up to $100 million to transport, take apart and rebuild all 75 New Generation Rollingstock trains.

But Mr Saunders said yesterday his government was left with no choice.

He said contractual obligations under the tender prevented the State Government from finding another solution.

"It would have cost more to break it (the contract)" Mr Saunders told the Chronicle.

"The premier, deputy premier and myself were upfront about the contract not being broken during the (State Election) campaign and when we were all in Maryborough.

"This is making the best of a bad situation."

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The modification work is tipped to bring more jobs for workers at Maryborough's Downer factory.

Both parties blame each other for the train debacle after Downer lost the tender in 2010.

Last year, Downer revealed it was forced to pull out of a tender for rail contracts when Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk was Transport Minister for the Bligh Government.

The trains were then shipped to Mumbai to be built for half-price under the Newman Ministry.

Issues with braking, disability access and heating systems were then identified when the Palaszczuk Labor government took office.


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