You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Hinchliffe digs heels in over QR crisis

AAP logoAAP 31/10/2016 Jamie McKinnell

Embattled Transport Minister Stirling Hinchliffe is digging in his heels despite mounting calls to resign over Queensland Rail's staffing crisis.

The Liberal National Party opposition on Tuesday repeatedly took aim at Mr Hinchliffe in state parliament over the fiasco, now attacking him for failing to take responsibility for the problems.

The pressure intensified after the emergence of a report warning senior QR bosses about staffing issues in January - about nine months before it caused the recent commuter chaos.

As service disruptions continued on Tuesday afternoon, Mr Hinchliffe said the first time he saw the report was Monday evening, after questions from a journalist.

It was "beyond acceptable" that QR knew of the risks, he said.

"There has been a fundamental failure of management," Mr Hinchliffe told the house.

But he accepted little blame, saying 66 QR training staff were let go under the LNP's watch and the organisation shed 1773 full-time equivalent staff over the course of its term in power.

"The seeds of this issue were sown long ago and we need to get to the bottom of this," Mr Hinchliffe said.

Mr Hinchliffe attempted to free himself from the spotlight by demanding LNP leader Tim Nicholls release QR-related reports and briefings from his party's time in power.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the "real test" for Mr Nicholls was whether he would co-operate with an inquiry into the matter.

"We want the truth to come out," she said.

Mr Nicholls accused Ms Palaszcuk of cowardice, saying she wouldn't sack her transport minister because that would mean facing off against Labor factions.

He blamed Mr Hinchliffe for letting QR's CEO and chairman, who both resigned last week, take the fall over problems for which he was "legally and morally" responsible.

"This is Stirling Hinchliffe's mess and no one else's," Mr Nicholls said.

The LNP leader sought leave to move a motion of no-confidence in Mr Hinchliffe despite the protests of Deputy Premier Jackie Trad, who believed the LNP was abusing parliamentary process.

A division on whether to grant Mr Nicholls leave resulted in a tied vote, with Speaker Peter Wellington using his casting vote to spare the minority government from embarrassment.

One independent sided with the opposition.

The fiasco prompted the resignations of QR chief executive Helen Gluer and chairman Michael Klug last Thursday after another senior rail staffer was stood down on Monday.

QR continues to operate on an interim timetable, but commuters faced more service disruptions on Tuesday afternoon with little notice.

Mr Hinchliffe described the inconveniences as "completely unacceptable".

Late on Tuesday afternoon, Mr Hinchliffe told state parliament Ms Gluer was paid out $158,000 in lieu of notice she was leaving.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon