THE Fraser Coast’s new train building facility in Torbanlea will play an important role in transporting Queenslanders while also providing vital training opportunities for the next generation of local engineers and the manufacturing workforce.
In a major boost for the region, the Queensland-made Train Manufacturing Program will partner with Fraser Coast schools to help train students so a homegrown workforce can benefit from the available jobs before needing to move workers into the region.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk turned the sod on early works for the new workshop yesterday.
Some 65 new trains will be built at the site as part of the State Government’s $7.1-billion Queensland Train Manufacturing Program.
“We’re bringing train manufacturing back where it belongs, with 65 new trains to be built right here in Torbanlea in time for the 2032 Games and beyond.
“This commitment will see better train services delivered across the South East, while supporting 3,000 good Queensland jobs over the next decade.
“800 of those jobs will be right here in Maryborough – from construction through to manufacturing over the life of the program.
Maryborough MP and Member for Train Manufacturing Bruce Saunders said it was a historic moment for the region.
“Right here in Torbanlea is where 65 new passenger trains will be built before they carry millions of customers each year across the South East Queensland train network, and support the transportation task for the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games,” Mr Saunders said.
“We’re backing this region to do what it does best and that is build trains.
“Construction of the new trains would add to a long history in train manufacturing with the first Queensland Rail contract awarded to build trains in Maryborough in 1896.
“It’s an honour to mark the start of works here, with early works and site preparations to be carried over the coming months.”
The partnership with the Education Department is geared towards creating pathways for young people to access skilled work in their own back yard.
Education Minister Grace Grace said the training pathways would be co-designed with local schools and employers.
“We want realistic training developed that ensures local students are ready for a career in their local community,” Ms Grace said.
“The co-designed curriculum will provide a range of learning opportunities that will prepare students for project work, including site visits, qualifications, and hands-on experience.
“This initiative will develop well-prepared, confident and highly employable school-leavers who have knowledge, certifications and skills that are highly sought after by employers.”
Maryborough State High School Principal Simon Done said his school was proud to be partnering with industry on the project.
“This will provide crucial links for our students to future local industry,” Mr Done said.
“Our school has a proven track record of working with industry in health, hospitals and education. We are proud to add engineering and other manufacturing industries for opportunities for our students.
“The creation of a vital link for students to be able to visualise their future career path, while still studying at school, will be a game changer for our students.
“They will be able to be what they can see.”
Hervey Bay MP Adrian Tantari said the partnership with local schools would help create better infrastructure while also investing in skills, training and pathways into the industry.
This article was originally published on Good News Fraser Coast and has been republished with permission.
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