FIGHTING BACK: Shaun ‘Zoro’ Radnedge is doing all he can to get back travel services for the Murweh Shire.
FIGHTING BACK: Shaun ‘Zoro’ Radnedge is doing all he can to get back travel services for the Murweh Shire.

‘Kick in the guts:’ Fight against Charleville’s cut transport

MAYOR Elect and current Councillor, Shaun ‘Zoro’ Radnedge has hit the ground running, attempting to secure with government and corporate heavyweights guaranteed air and ground transport, currently under threat because of coronavirus.

“The region knows all of Australia is doing it tough at the moment and we are all dealing with misinformation about what is being said, so we are in direct discussions with the Director General of Queensland Transport and Main Roads, Mr. Neil Scales,” Cr Radnedge said.

Cr Radnedge said the area is already under extreme economic pressure but he understands the following:

  • The Westlander train service has been cancelled from March 31.
  • The daily Bus Queensland service to/from Brisbane to Charleville was cancelled on March 30.
  • REX Airlines have reduced their services to one per week with rumours that they will stop completely at Easter.
  • Regulated Qantas QLink services are rumoured to be ceasing Charleville services this week, although Roma services to continue.

Cr Radnedge said due to a good working relationship with state government officials, including Minister Mark Bailey, he is scheduled to be talking to the Director General today to sort out fact from fiction.

“The last thing our community needs is another kick in the guts. Charleville airport provides air services, not just for Charleville but for Quilpie, Cunamulla, Tambo and the region,” he said.

“I am also worried about essential frontline service staff, medical staff, and patients requiring access to metropolitan areas.”

Cr Radnedge said he often thinks people in Brisbane can make decisions with little understanding of the area.

“It might be very well for Qantas executives to say drive to Roma but many of our residents cannot do that and I would like to see the Qantas CEO, Alan Joyce, jump in a car and drive to Roma for a flight every day,” he said.

“If the above is accurate, this will leave the only public transport in and out of Charleville from Thursday to be the Brisbane-Mt Isa route. This service takes 13 hours for our residents.” Cr Radnedge said he will be seeking assurance from the Director General about all transport services to Charleville.

“One bus service from Mt Isa is not going to cut it and I just want to know what is going on,” he said.

“Once we know the facts, we will be able to work with all authorities to get the best outcome for all of the south west region – but I know this much, it would be very disappointing if big business, like Qantas, did not do the right thing by regional communities, regardless of the difficult times we are all facing.

“I will not let south west Queensland be forgotten or the first area to lose more essential services during this pandemic.”

Cr Radnedge said he has tried phoning Qantas representatives but his calls have gone unanswered.

Charleville Western Times

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