End of the line for Redbank railway workshops
RAIL freight company Aurizon will close its Redbank workshops permanently in 2017, leaving hundreds of workers jobless and ending a century old relationship with Ipswich.
The closure is to begin next month with 42 staff to be axed before more follow next June when Aurizon's QR maintenance contract expires.
The decision to close the site comes less than two years after Aurizon said the Redbank workshops had a long future.
Documents obtained by the Queensland Times revealed the closure was based on three maintenance centres exceeding demand, opting for a centralised maintenance facility in Rockhampton.
About 450 Redbank staff face either relocation to Rockhampton or losing their jobs.
Union officials have condemned the closure and the gap it will leave in the Ipswich economy.
ETU State Organiser Jason Young said this decision is a massive blow for Ipswich workers, their families and their communities.
"We have seen Redbank, for example, go from employing 1000 people to, come next month, next to none," he said.
"In a region already reeling from massive increases in unemployment this is like a hammer blow."
Rail Tram and Bus Union state organiser Owen Doogan said cutting jobs and completely shutting down the iconic Redbank site would scar the community.
Aurizon has invested $150 million in a facility in Newcastle.