Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk joined Downer employees, industry leaders and government representatives on December 6 to celebrate 150 years of manufacturing at Maryborough.
At a ceremony to recognise those who have contributed to Downer’s history building trains, sugar mills and ships at the workshops on the Fraser Coast, the premier credited the facility for being “the very heart of this historic Queensland city”.
“Downer’s motto is ‘Relationships creating success’ and that rings especially true in Maryborough,” Palaszczuk said. “Since the first Queensland Government contract was awarded back in 1896, the workshop has designed and built our long-haul tilt trains, delivered hundreds of units for our suburban and interurban rail network, and soon will perform essential accessibility upgrades on 75 New Generation Rollingstock (NGR) trains as part of an $85 million rectification contract.”
On top of this, Downer also recently signed a memorandum of understanding with Queensland Rail to develop a new strategic partnership agreement. The ten-year agreement will see closer collaboration, increased regional investment and better outcomes for Queensland’s rail passengers.
Tim Young, EGM for Downer’s Rollingstock Services, said the partnership will help secure the future of manufacturing in regional Queensland and cement Downer’s longer-term relationship with a key customer.
“We’re proud to today be celebrating the 150-year milestone of our operations in Maryborough,” he said. “For many years, this facility has been recognised as a leading manufacturer of rollingstock, supplying more than 900 rail cars and 1,000 locomotives to customers around Australia.
“With a strong pipeline of work for our factory, and the signing of this MOU with Queensland Rail, we hope to see this facility evolve and grow, enhancing our ongoing commitment to the Fraser Coast region.”
Queensland Rail CEO Nick Easy said the operator was proud to continue its longstanding partnership with Maryborough.
“This agreement will offer a range of improvements for Queensland Rail’s rollingstock maintenance program, including better collaboration, planning and value for money outcomes,” Easy said. “Like Queensland Rail, Downer has played a pivotal role in Queensland’s rail industry, being the original manufacturer of both Queensland Rail’s suburban and long-distance trains for many years.”