The Deputy Premier, Jackie Trad was supposed to announce some government good news, an employment drive for rail staff.
But she was forced to admit there are serious problems with expensive, imported rolling stock.
Reece D’Alessandro reports.
Queensland Rail is taking on 250 applicants to be trained as guards.
It comes after staff shortages caused a series of rostering bungles and service cuts.
The Deputy Premier and Transport Minister now believes QR is back on track.
Jackie Trad, Qld Dep. Premier: “We have exceeded the Strachan Inquiry recommendation, for an over-supply of guards by some 25%.”
QR recently employed 106 new drivers and will take on another hundred.
This all comes as the government faces problems with new trains from India which have a number of faults, including braking, line-of-sight issues and disability access.
Jackie Trad, Qld Dep. Premier: “We’re hoping that we can get these trains on the network as soon as it is safely possible to do so.”
And with an important deadline looming the pressure’s on.
The State Government and Queensland Rail are confident these newly-trained guards and the soon-to-be trained drivers will be able to meet increased demand, ahead of the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
And it’s something the Rail, Tram and Bus Union says is possible if handled properly.
Owen Doogan, Qld. Rail Tram and Bus Union: “It takes nine to twelve months to train a driver.”
Until then commuters may bear the brunt of reduced services.
Reece D’Alessandro, QUT News.