Rob Katter has slammed Government moves to take away rail services from the bush after it announced plans to remove the Inlander service from Townsville to Mount Isa.
The Member for Mount Isa said outside Parliament today the Government subsidies for passengers on that service were granted many years ago on compassionate grounds to help the sick, the elderly and those neediest who need to use the rail service to access specialist services not available in the bush.
“They will be the ones to suffer at the hands of this government’s callous disregard for their situations.
“Everyone expects the railways to make a profit, and they should, especially in the most mineral and energy-rich region in Australia.
“But instead of slamming the existing passenger services that have been working well for the last 75 years – and for which these subsidies were designed.”
“A lot of people out here may not be in a hurry to get to their essential services in Townsville; and the fares, particularly for pensioners, are more affordable than other forms of transport.”
Mr Katter said for thousands of Queenslanders, rail is the preferred way of travel, especially for those in the bush.
“To take away that service is just another act from a Brisbane-based Government which “cares little about anyone outside of the Southeast corner,” he said.
“Labor tried to get rid of the Inlander and failed, and now another Brisbane-based government is trying and we’ll resist their efforts to further reduce services to remote and regional Queensland.
“We make the money for this State, and we deserve the facilities we need.”