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AURIZON’S Rockhampton railyard may be transformed into a major rail supply-chain hub or a hydrogen-powered rail research centre after being purchased by the Queensland government this week.

The government bought the railyard to revive rail supply-chain manufacturing in Rockhampton and support train manufacturing in Maryborough.

Transport minister Mark Bailey said the opportunity for research into hydrogen-powered trains was “particularly exciting”, and the Department of Transport and Main Roads is working to potentially locate a hydrogen research initiative at the railyards.

“The precinct will also be a major rail supply chain hub for Australia, with an expression of interest to launch in the coming weeks, inviting businesses with a unique opportunity to establish themselves at the railyards,” Mr Bailey said.

“In addition to the commercial use, later this year we will talk to the local community about how they’d like the site to be activated.

“Any revitalisation work done in the precinct will be done with full respect to the history of this area – including the heritage listed sections.”

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Member for Rockhampton Barry O’Rourke said rail supply chain manufacturing is part of Rockhampton’s history and DNA.

“The railyards will be a supply chain source for the government’s Queensland Train Manufacturing Program,” he said.

“This program is a $7.1 billion investment in Queensland rail manufacturing and Queensland jobs.

“It’s going to create hundreds of jobs all over Queensland – but particularly here in Rocky.”

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said planning had begun to determine the best use of the railyards for the Rockhampton community, industry and Queensland Rail.

“We’ve bought this site … to create more rail supply chain manufacturing jobs here in Rockhampton to support train manufacturing in Maryborough,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“The railyards have been relatively unused for years. It’s time to get the area back in action, and back to generating blue collar jobs for Queenslanders.”

The government plans to release information regarding the Rockhampton railyard expression of interest to the public in the coming weeks.

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