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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Transport and the Commonwealth Games
    The Honourable Stirling Hinchliffe

    $12.5 million investment on track to upgrade key level crossings

    Minister for Transport and the Commonwealth Games
    The Honourable Stirling Hinchliffe

    Friday, March 04, 2016

    $12.5 million investment on track to upgrade key level crossings

    The Palaszczuk Government is investing $12.5 million to upgrade key regional level crossings across Queensland and install additional protection mechanisms to improve safety.

    Minister for Transport Stirling Hinchliffe announced the funding for key regional site following the tabling of the final report into the incident involving a bus and the Kuranda Scenic Railway train at a Cairns level crossing in June last year.

    “I am thankful this incident was not more serious, however it reinforces the importance of promoting the safe use of our roads and rail network – particularly at open level crossings,” Mr Hinchliffe said.

    “While the Rail Regulator report found the Draper Street level crossing operated as designed and the train was driven appropriately, there is no doubt lessons can be learnt from the incident.

    “The report identified some recommendations for both Cairns Regional Council and Queensland Rail to implement, which included maintaining regular contact and investigating the possibility of synchronising traffic and level crossing signals.

    “Since the incident last year improvements have been made to the road markings at the crossing to help improve understanding of the need to stop for trains at the crossing.

    “I am pleased that Queensland Rail and Cairns Regional Council are holding discussions about further possible enhancements to the Draper Street level crossing.”

    Mr Hinchliffe said work was already underway on a $1.5 million upgrade to the existing safety protection at the nearby Kate Street level crossing in Portsmith.

    “Safety is a top priority for the Palaszczuk Government and level crossings are regularly reviewed to ensure the appropriate level of protection is in place,” he said.

    “This $12.5 million in funding will ensure key level crossings across the state will be upgraded from passive to active protection by June 2017, with more mechanisms installed like flashing lights and boom gates.

    “The number of near miss incidents on the Queensland Rail network has dropped by 17 per cent during over the past two years, however we must remain vigilant when it comes to level crossing safety.

    “The Palaszczuk Government is committed to improving safety at level crossings through investment in education and engineering upgrades and innovations, however it is up to motorists to obey the signs and signals.”

    The final report made a number of recommendations on Cairns Regional Council as the road manager and Queensland Rail as the rail infrastructure manager. 

    These recommendations talked about the two organisations working together to look at better coordination of the rail signals and the traffic lights, and whether there were any other safety measures that could reduce the risk of collision at this crossing.


    Media contact: Jessica Hill 0475 950 772