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    Media Statements

    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    JOINT STATEMENT
    Premier and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk
    Minister for Transport and the Commonwealth Games
    The Honourable Stirling Hinchliffe

    Queensland Rail Train Crewing Practices Inquiry

    JOINT STATEMENT

    Premier and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

    Minister for Transport and the Commonwealth Games
    The Honourable Stirling Hinchliffe

    Friday, November 25, 2016

    Queensland Rail Train Crewing Practices Inquiry

    The Palaszczuk Government has upgraded an independent investigation into Queensland Rail (QR) Train Crewing Practices to a Commission of Inquiry so it can secure documents from the former Newman Government and QR.

    Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said Executive Council had approved Mr Phillip Strachan, who was appointed to undertake the independent investigation in October, to be a Commissioner with his examination to now be a Commission of Inquiry.

    “I said Phillip Strachan needed to get to the bottom of what has happened with the train crewing practices at Queensland Rail,” she said.

    “Mr Strachan has written to me to say he has not received the documents he needs.”

    “We want answers.  To get those answers, Mr Strachan needs the documents.”

    “I warned that if Mr Strachan wasn’t getting cooperation we would extend his powers.  We have had to do just that.”

    Transport Minister Stirling Hinchliffe wrote to Opposition Leader Tim Nicholls on 1 November to provide copies of all cabinet documents of the Newman Government relating to Queensland Rail operational matters.

    “Tim Nicholls was shareholding Minister for Queensland Rail for almost three years. In the public interest, he should release the documents of his Government about Queensland Rail," Mr Hinchliffe said.

    “The Newman-Nicholls Government made savage cuts to Queensland Rail in its time in office.  They cut more than 1700 staff and put a freeze on recruitment.”

    Mr Strachan’s powers are extended under the Commissions of Inquiry Act 1950 and be conducted similar to the current Independent Review of Youth Detention.

    Terms of Reference for the Strachan Inquiry

    The Inquiry will cover two sections.

    Circumstances leading up to and associated with the disruptions to the CityTrain timetable:

      1. The adequacy of Queensland Rail scheduling, rostering, training crewing, recruitment and training practices, including arrangements put in place to support the new timetable that commenced 4 October 2016;
      2. What circumstances led to any inadequacies in part 1a;
      3. When deficits in train crew availability were known about and what action was taken ahead of the commissioning of the Redcliffe Peninsula line to address these issues; and
      4. The nature and suitability of actions taken by Queensland Rail once the train crewing issues manifested under the new timetable.

    Implementation of the five point plan to restore timetabled services and public confidence in Queensland Rail timetabling: 

    1. Progress with the recruitment and training of the additional 200 drivers (100 approved in November 2015, and 100 announced on 24 October 2016) and 200 additional guards (100 approved in November 2015, and 100 announced on 24 October 2016);
    2. Future demand and supply requirements for train crew, including for the crewing of New Generation Rollingstock;
    3. Ensuring the suitability of current and proposed Queensland Rail recruitment practices to address the issues in 2b;
    4. The development and delivery of the interim timetable; and
    5. The suitability of arrangements and timeframes to transition from the interim timetable to the full timetable.

    Media contact: Kirby Anderson (Premier's office) 0417 263 791