Regional flights and long-distance coaches locked in

November 24 2021 - 2:00am
NEW CONTRACTS: The state government says a new package of five-year contracts will ensure the future of seven long distance air routes and 20 coach routes.

Regional Queenslanders will soon benefit from improved air service frequencies between Charleville, Roma, and Brisbane and coach services with stronger route connections following the signing of new regional transport service contracts starting in December and January.

Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said a new package of five-year contracts would provide regional communities with long-term certainty around their local travel options, ensuring the future of seven long distance air routes and 20 coach routes.

Advertisement

Ad

"We're very pleased to announce the continuation of these routes under new contracts which deliver accessible and efficient passenger transport that meet local community needs," Mr Bailey said.

"There will be more flights on the Charleville and Roma to Brisbane air route which will give locals and visitors more choice of travel times.

"From January, approximately 18 extra return services will be provided per week, achieved through the use of smaller aircraft which will still meet passenger need with seat availability.

"With some coach contracts changing hands, operators have been able to provide connections to other services, for example the Mt Isa to Townsville coach to be run by Greyhound will connect with a Camooweal and Tennant Creek service once a week.

"Locking in contracts for the next five years is an outcome that provides certainty to regional communities reliant on coach and air services for their connection to the rest of the state."

More news

The Queensland Government will provide $5.1 million a year for these long-distance coaches and $11.7 million a year for the regional air services under the new contracts.

Mr Bailey said there were new transport operators for some of the services after a competitive and rigorous assessment of offers from 16 different transport providers.

"Contracts were negotiated through a competitive open market process, with independent legal oversight that ensured the process was robust and free from interference," he said.

"Local input and insights were considered including customer feedback, existing service performance and operations, historical feedback from communities, examining service use patterns and patronage and other business matters that would ensure the contract would deliver on expectations.

"Service providers for some routes are yet to be confirmed, but we expect this to take place in the coming weeks."

Mr Bailey said in instances where services had a new operator, steps were in place to ensure a smooth transition for customers, particularly when booking online with new transport operators.

"We want customers and local communities to be able to easily book travel on long distance flights or coaches either with their new operator or ongoing provider."

The Monto to Mundubbera coach service was not renewed in the new contracts due to very low demand.

Summary of new long distance air and coach operators

Air route / contracted delivery partner

Brisbane-Roma-Charleville Change to Regional Express

Advertisement

Ad

Brisbane-Blackall-Barcaldine-Longreach To be announced

Townsville-Winton-Longreach Retained by Regional Express

Townsville-Hughenden-Richmond-Julia Creek-Mt Isa Retained by Regional Express

Brisbane-Toowoomba-St George-Cunnamulla-Thargomindah

Retained by Regional Express

Brisbane-Toowoomba-Charleville-Quilpie-Windorah-Birdsville-Bedourie-Boulia-Mount Isa

Advertisement

Ad

Retained by Regional Express

Cairns-Normanton-Mornington Island (Gununa)-Burketown-Doomadgee-Mount Isa

Retained by Regional Express

Coach route / contracted delivery partner

Brisbane - Mt Isa Change to Greyhound

Brisbane - Charleville Change to Greyhound

Advertisement

Ad

Toowoomba - St George (via Moonie Highway) Change to Murrays

Toowoomba - St George (via Gore Highway) Change to Murrays

St George - Cunnamulla Change to Murrays

St George - Lightning Ridge Change to Murrays

Miles - Rockhampton Change to Greyhound

Emerald - Rockhampton Retained by Greyhound

Advertisement

Ad

Longreach - Rockhampton Retained by Greyhound

Emerald - Mackay Retained by Mackay Transit

Collinsville - Bowen Retained by Trans North (Donric)

Charters Towers - Townsville Change to Trans North (Donric)

Mt Isa - Townsville Change to Greyhound

(Now incorporating connectivity to Camooweal and Tennant Creek - once per week)

Advertisement

Ad

Cairns - Karumba Retained by Trans North (Donric)

Cairns - Cooktown (Inland) Retained by Trans North (Donric)

Cairns - Cooktown (Coastal) Retained by Trans North (Donric)

Mundubbera - Bundaberg To be announced

Mundubbera - Maryborough To be announced

Mundubbera - Bundaberg (via Eidsvold) To be announced

Advertisement

Ad

Monto - Ceratodus (On Demand) To be announced

Want daily news highlights delivered to your inbox? Sign up to the Queensland Country Life newsletter below.

Get the latest QLD news in your inbox

Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.

We care about the protection of your data. Read our Privacy Policy.