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TASMANIAN rail workers were to launch a campaign tomorrow to secure the future of the state's train freight service.
Operator Pacific National last month threatened to cut container, coal and log freight services unless it received government support of $100 million over 10 years.
Federal and state governments agreed to conduct a study into the viability of maintaining the service, but today the workers criticised the governments' lack of action.
"Unless we act now, we could lose this valuable community asset," Rail Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) national secretary Bob Hayden said.
"We want state and federal governments to listen to the community on this issue."
Mr Hayden said the closure of rail freight would see an extra 2000 trucks a week on state roads.
"We are concerned about the impact on our communities through the loss of jobs, increased costs and, most importantly, the impact on the safety of our roads," Mr Hayden said.
Federal Transport Minister Warren Truss said last week the Government would not be blackmailed into handing over money to private companies.
"We need to have a good look at what ... the prospects are for the future, what factors have led Pacific National to the view that they can't run these container services' profitability in the future, and then try and find solutions," he said.
Pacific National, a joint venture between freighting giants Patrick and Toll Holdings, said it had given the governments until the end of November to respond.
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