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I was 'misled' over QR crisis: Hinchliffe

AAP logoAAP 1/11/2016 Jamie McKinnell

Transport Minister Stirling Hinchliffe has claimed he was misled over the Queensland Rail staffing crisis as he endured a second day of parliamentary lampooning over his handling of the matter.

Mr Hinchliffe, who has faced opposition calls for his sacking for more than a week since last month's mass cancellations, was again defended by the premier and cabinet colleagues.

He admitted in question time on Wednesday he only learned of the commuter chaos the same way commuters did - on Twitter.

Mr Hinchliffe insisted he immediately sought briefings with QR staff about the problems.

"Frankly, I was misled," he said.

"The answers I was given by Queensland Rail proved to be wrong."

Mr Hinchliffe accused QR of "a gross level of mismanagement" and said he was concentrating on fixing the problems.

But his performance led Liberal National Party Leader Tim Nicholls to award Mr Hinchliffe the title of "Australia's worst transport minister" and question why Premier Annastacia Palazczuk was yet to fire him.

"Asking the question was Queensland's worst treasurer," she replied.

The debacle led to the resignations of QR chief executive Helen Gluer and board chairman Michael Klug.

Acting chief executive Neil Scales said the on-time running rate for Wednesday morning's peak period was above 96 per cent.

"Actually, the train service is not that bad," Mr Scales said.

Since last month's problems, QR has been operating on an interim timetable.

But even that wasn't guaranteed as 25 services were altered on Tuesday afternoon.

It's emerged QR bosses were aware of the looming problems in several reports, one as far back as January, in addition to a frank email from a public transport advocate.

Mr Hinchliffe's colleagues continue to back him.

"He has the absolute support of cabinet," Disability Minister Coralee O'Rourke said.

Energy Minister Mark Bailey and Police Minister Bill Byrne also gave Mr Hinchliffe public support.

But the debacle prompted a blunt analysis from Katter's Australian Party MP Rob Katter, who questioned why it was such an issue when residents of Queensland's Gulf region had gone nine days without Telstra services.

"Does anyone know about that?" he said.

"I think people need a reality check and there needs to be some relativity put in here against some of the issues we face up there."

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