INDEPENDENT NEWS

Rail Workers Reject Closure Of Southland Branch Line

Published: Fri 24 Jul 2020 02:15 PM
The union representing rail workers says the impending closure of a Southland rail line goes against the Government’s own commitment to provincial infrastructure and upgrading New Zealand’s rail network.
KiwiRail has confirmed they are planning for the closure of the Ohai to Invercargill Branch Line, commonly referred to as the Wairio Branch.
Rail and Maritime Transport Union General Secretary Wayne Butson says rail workers are calling on the Minister of Transport Phil Twyford and Associate Minister of Transport Julie Genter to intervene.
Mr Butson says the line carries coal on the first part of its journey from Ohai to Fonterra’s Clandeboye factory in South Canterbury.
“This line is in regular use, and there is untapped local potential for rail in growth areas such as logging.”
Mr Butson says remedial work was carried out on the line several years ago and some further work was required to get the line up to speed.
“A line closure means double handling and more trucks on South Island roads – the exact opposite of what the Government says it is trying to achieve.”
He says the Union is unhappy that an application by Kiwirail to the Provincial Growth Fund has been declined.
Mr Butson says there are signs of an imbalance with transport infrastructure with the North getting priority over the South.
“Provincial rail lines are an essential part of a national transport strategy and export industries and the Government needs to step up on this occasion.”

Next in New Zealand politics

On Whether This Election Is Already A Foregone Conclusion
By: Gordon Campbell
Newshub-Reid Research Poll Shows National Rising But Labour Still Governing Alone
By: Mediaworks
SFO Files Charges In Relation To NZ First Foundation Donations
By: Serious Fraud Office
Business Leaders’ Confidence Tanks As Top Kiwi CEOs Vent Their Frustrations
By: New Zealand Media and Entertainment
Taking Action To Reduce Waste And Plastics
By: New Zealand Labour Party
On Last Night’s Leaders Debate
By: Gordon Campbell
Dunne Speaks: The Election Campaign Just Grinds Slowly On And On
By: Peter Dunne
Electoral Commission: Candidate And Party Lists Released
By: Electoral Commission
National Releases Its Plan To Restore NZ’s Prosperity
By: New Zealand National Party
The 2020 New Zealand Election Is Not A Foregone Conclusion.
By: Keith Rankin
Overseas Voting Starts On Wednesday
By: Electoral Commission
Politicians To Go Head To Head On Education Issues In Election Debate
By: NZEI Te Riu Roa
New Zealand First Fully Exonerated Of All SFO Charges
By: New Zealand First Party
Links to two judgments in the SFO's NZ First Foundation case
By: New Zealand High Court
Green Party Responds To NZ First Foundation SFO Charges
By: Green Party
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILE © Scoop Media