State rubbishes Railink proposal

By BEVERLEY MILLER

STATE Transport Minister Paul Lucas described a proposal by Capricorn Coast group Railink for a tourist train between Rockhampton and Yeppoon as ludicrous and preposterous.

He ruled out state funding for the tourist train which he compared with the Beaudesert tourist railway that lost $6 million before bankruptcy.

He was backed in his detailed attack on the project by Livingstone Shire Mayor Bill Ludwig who described the proposal as a white elephant which also lacked the support of the Capricorn Coast Tourism Organisation.

But the founder of Railink, Stephen Johns, said the combined attack had been provoked by widespread support the tourist train proposal had "in the community''.

Mr Lucas said maintenance on the currently disused track cost about $540,000 a year.

"Then we start talking about calculating the cost of putting down a new line and purchasing a train,'' he said.

"Add in the high cost of public liability and general insurance and general operations costs which could be anywhere up to $300,000 a year. This ludicrous idea is just not feasible.'' But Mr Johns said yesterday he would be submitting a business plan for the Railink proposal to the Federal Government by the end of next week.

He said the community was "90 per cent'' behind the Railink proposal.



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