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Queensland’s Zero Emission Vehicle Strategy

Image Credits: Queensland Government Website, Press Release
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The production of the initial batch of 200 rail replacement buses has begun and marks a significant technological advancement as part of the Queensland Government’s substantial investment exceeding AU$130 million in bolstering public transportation and fostering local manufacturing.

Crafted on a Volvo chassis utilising cutting-edge Euro 6 diesel technology, the debut bus has emerged from a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility at Eagle Farm, a testament to local expertise and innovation. Engineered with a capacity to accommodate 43 passengers, this vehicle signifies a pivotal solution during track closures across the South East Queensland (SEQ) train network, mitigating disruptions for commuters.

The Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) will deploy these buses strategically throughout SEQ, offering seamless transit services amidst essential railway maintenance. A total of 200 buses will be produced, each emblematic of Queensland’s commitment to fostering indigenous manufacturing capabilities.

A notable aspect of these buses is their comprehensive accessibility features, ensuring inclusivity for all passengers, including those with mobility aids, luggage, or prams. Additionally, these diesel buses represent a significant milestone in emission reduction efforts, exemplifying Queensland’s dedication to environmental sustainability.

Furthermore, the rail replacement bus program underscores Queensland’s steadfast support for local manufacturing industries while concurrently transitioning towards a zero-emission fleet. As part of this transition, the Queensland Government has unveiled plans for the development of hundreds of zero-emission buses, bolstered by the establishment of zero-emission depots across SEQ.

The Minister for Transport and Main Roads lauded this technological feat as a pivotal milestone in Queensland’s transportation evolution. He emphasises the multifaceted benefits of local bus production, ranging from job creation to bolstering the state’s manufacturing sector, and ultimately enhancing commuter experiences.

The CEO of a partnering company highlighted the company’s substantial investments in its Eagle Farm facility to facilitate local bus production. The significance of sustained government support and consistent procurement programs in fostering industry growth and innovation was highlighted.

The State Secretary of the Queensland and Northern Territory Branch of the Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union (AMWU), underscores the pivotal role of these buses in fortifying local job security and economic prosperity. He emphasises the inherent value of prioritising local manufacturing, advocating for a sustainable approach to economic development.

The advent of these technologically advanced rail replacement buses underscores Queensland’s commitment to innovation, sustainability, and economic resilience. Through strategic investments and collaborative efforts between government entities, manufacturers, and labour unions, Queensland is poised to spearhead a new era of transportation excellence, setting a precedent for jurisdictions worldwide.

In March 2022, the Queensland Government released its Zero Emission Vehicle Strategy 2022–2032 alongside the inaugural Zero Emission Vehicle Action Plan 2022–2024. The initiative aims to expedite Queensland’s transition to a cleaner transport future while ensuring the energy infrastructure aligns with the shift towards zero-emission vehicles.

The ten-year strategy underscores Queensland’s dedication to achieving zero net emissions by 2050, outlining ambitious targets:

  • By 2030, 50% of new passenger vehicle sales will be zero-emission, reaching 100% by 2036.
  • All eligible Queensland Government fleet passenger vehicles will be zero emission by 2026.
  • Starting from 2025, every new TransLink-funded bus in South East Queensland will be zero-emission, extending to regional Queensland from 2025–2030.

The strategy promises a range of benefits for Queenslanders throughout the journey towards these targets, including enhanced air quality, quieter communities, increased skill development opportunities, and improved health outcomes for both individuals and the environment at large.


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