Operations transformation to drive new productivity and service performance for customers
Aurizon has commenced its next three-year phase of its Operations transformation program and related investment in rail freight services as it aims for improved productivity and operational performance for its customers.
This includes investment in new facilities; ongoing rationalisation of surplus capacity and maintenance facilities; and the rollout of technology to deliver more efficient work practices.
Aurizon is implementing more modern and flexible work practices that are available in new Enterprise Agreements agreed in Queensland this year for approximately 5,000 employees. This will contribute significantly to improved performance and lower operating costs.
The changes acknowledge a tough economic environment for Aurizon’s customers, especially in the resources sector, and the short to medium term impact this is having on freight tonnages and revenue.
The changes are part of the Company’s ongoing transformation program, announced in mid-2013, to reduce costs, improve operational efficiency and to focus for customers on the core business of rail freight. In the two years to 30 June 2015, $252 million of transformation benefits were delivered.
Full details of the next phase transformation initiatives, together with a business update, will be provided by Aurizon later today in an Investor Day briefing. The presentation will be available at www.aurizon.com.au/investors
Aurizon today commenced consultation with employees in Rockhampton and Townsville in Queensland on proposed changes to maintenance work. The aim is to remove surplus maintenance capacity and deliver core work more efficiently and at a lower cost.
- It is proposed that the Locomotive and Wagons Maintenance Depots in Rockhampton be closed, and the work consolidated to existing activities at the nearby Rockhampton Heavy Maintenance Facility. There are 21 maintenance roles affected, 17 of which are no longer required, a change in duties for the Superintendent and three apprentices redeploying to the Heavy Maintenance Facility. The net impact on roles is 17.
- A proposed rationalisation and outsourcing of some non-core and site service activities at Rockhampton Heavy Maintenance Facilities. There are 41 roles no longer required under this proposal including 14 vacant roles. There will be four new roles. The net impact on roles is 23.
- The proposed closure of the Wheelshop at Townsville Workshop in December 2015, six months earlier than the previously announced closure date of June 2016. There are 36 roles that are no longer required, including two vacant roles, at the Townsville Wheelshop. The net impact on roles is 34. The Townsville work will be absorbed into existing facilities in Rockhampton and Redbank. Aurizon has also commenced a proposal for a $50 million investment in a new highly-automated wheel machining shop in Central Queensland that, in coming years, would replace three separate wheelshops at Redbank (south-east Queensland), Rockhampton and Townsville. The new facility would be located adjacent to the coal network at a site to be determined.
- A $40 million investment in a new intermodal terminal, to be co-located with existing rail activities at Stuart, south of Townsville, that sits strategically on the juncture of the north coast (Brisbane to Cairns) and north-west (Townsville to Mount Isa) rail and road corridors. This will facilitate removal of all rail activities from inner-Townsville by June 2016, allowing potential redevelopment and urban revitalisation in collaboration with the private sector and local and state governments. Aurizon announced last year it would close the Townsville Workshops by June 2016.
Aurizon is detailing the range of initiatives underway and will ensure employees are provided information inadvance of major changes, and to effect a smooth transition in transferring workload and the decommissioning of facilities.
Aurizon is committed to a detailed consultation process with affected employees on significant workplace changes, and understands the significant impact of proposed changes on affected employees. The Company is committed to working closely with employees during consultation processes.
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