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Queensland MP Vaughan Johnson says Queensland Rail is putting the maintenance of its coal lines ahead of agriculture links as cattle farmers in the outback remain hamstrung by a collapsed rail bridge.
The Darr River rail bridge, between Winton and Longreach, collapsed in February while workers were trying to repair storm damage.
The cattle industry in west Queensland had been expecting to move 80,000 to 90,000 head of cattle out of Winton this season but the closure of the bridge has made transporting the livestock expensive and impractical.
Mr Johnson, the Liberal National Party (LNP) MP for Gregory, says QR has told him the bridge won't be fixed until July. He says that's not good enough.
He says he will meet Jeff Seeney, who is Queensland's deputy premier and state development minister, as well as Transport Minister Scott Emerson to expedite its repair.
"The ministers will be doing everything in their power to make this happen," he told AAP.
"That is a very important arterial link."
He said cattle farmers are being forced to get their cattle to meatworks or the capital by road, which is costly, time-consuming and bad for the environment.
It is also dangerous to have so many B-doubles on roads that are already in bad condition, he said.
He questioned QR's professionalism and urged it to have better management strategies.
"They are more interested in their coal and mineral lines than they are in these arterial lines that carry the everyday goods of the agriculture industry, and I'm over it," he said.
Winton Mayor Ed Warren said he believed QR could get the bridge repaired faster than it has said.
"I don't believe it is good enough or acceptable that it is taking so long to fix," he told AAP.
"The cattlemen are annoyed."
Comment is being sought from QR.
This article first appeared on news.ninemsn.com.au
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