$4.4b rail project accused of favouring foreign workers
QUEENSLAND'S largest train building project - the $4.4 billion New Generation Rolling Stock Project - has been accused of favouring imported Indian workers over skilled Australian workers.
Experienced Queensland rail draftsmen with 20 years experience claim they are being rejected, alleging employees from India are being employed for 12 months after coming to Australia for three weeks training.
The tender for the complex project - to design 75 six-car electric trains, to build the new trains, then build a new maintenance plant at Wulkuraka, west of Ipswich, and finally maintain the new trains for 30 years - was won by the Bombardier Consortium in January 2014.
Bombardier denies the allegations and says staff from India are coming as observers only and not staying.
Bombardier has bought a new rail construction plant in India, at Savli - where the new trains will be built during 2015-2018 - then shipped back to Queensland and steadily introduced to the Queensland rail network.