24 November 2021
Queensland

Regional Queenslanders will 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.

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. 

Current service contracts were due to expire in December.

The continuation of these routes under new contracts will deliver accessible and efficient passenger transport that meet local community needs.

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.

Twenty long distance coach routes and seven air routes were up for tender with the state providing funding to deliver services that support economic development as well as connectivity across regional communities.

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.

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.

We are partnering with high-performing operators who demonstrate a commitment to regional communities and can provide high quality, value-for-money services to the people of Regional Queensland.

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.

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.

For the duration of the contracts, the Department of Transport and Main Roads will continue to work closely with regional communities, council, industry and other government departments to identify and explore any further service opportunities and improvements.

For further information on services contact the service provider.

Summary of new long distance air operators:

Air  Route Contracted delivery  partner
Brisbane-Roma-Charleville Change to Regional Express
Brisbane-Blackall-Barcaldine-Longreach Retained by QantasLink
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

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
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
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 (Now incorporating connectivity to Camooweal and Tennant Creek – once per week) Change to Greyhound
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 Retained by North Burnet Regional Council
Mundubbera - Maryborough Retained by North Burnet Regional Council
Mundubbera - Bundaberg (via Eidsvold) Retained by North Burnet Regional Council
Monto - Ceratodus (On Demand) Retained by North Burnet Regional Council

 

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