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Premier boosts probe into Qld Rail debacle

AAP logoAAP 24/11/2016 Stuart Layt

The head of an investigation into embarrassing failures by Queensland Rail claims key documents provided have been "heavily redacted".

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk met with Commissioner Phillip Strachan on Friday afternoon after granting him increased powers to investigate a train crew shortage that plunged commuter services into chaos last month.

Ms Palaszczuk's decision to increase Mr Strachan's powers came two weeks after he wrote to her saying he hadn't been given documents he'd requested from QR.

The premier finally upgraded the probe into a full commission of inquiry on Thursday, and on Friday said she was "furious" over the lack of co-operation with the inquiry.

"It is unacceptable, absolutely unacceptable, that Queensland Rail, and the board, and the opposition in this state, are not co-operating with this investigation," Ms Palaszczuk said on Friday morning.

"So now my government has given him the full powers to get to the bottom of it."

The increased powers bore fruit, with Mr Strachan having a "positive" meeting with QR later on Friday, however he reported the new documents handed over were censored in many places.

The rail debacle has embarrassed the Labor government but Transport Minister Stirling Hinchliffe has refused to take ultimate responsibility.

Mr Hinchliffe says that lies with Queensland Rail's board, who didn't tell him about the looming staff shortage even though they'd been warned about it.

Queensland Rail's chief executive Helen Gluer and board chairman Michael Klug have resigned over the failures.

Labor has also suggested the former LNP government may be partly to blame, accusing it of making savage job cuts when it was in power and imposing a recruitment freeze.

Opposition Leader Tim Nicholls, who criticised the premier for "sitting" on the commissioner's letter, said he would be happy to co-operate with any review.

But he said Mr Strachan had not contacted him about the LNP's time in power from 2012 to early 2015.

"Mr Strachan has not approached us in the three weeks since his appointment requesting any documents," Mr Nicholls said on Friday.

"He hasn't called us, he hasn't emailed us. I'd be very happy to sit down with Mr Strachan and discuss what his requirements are."

QR issued a brief statement on Friday afternoon, noting the upgrading of the inquiry and pledging to continue to fully support it, saying it was critical to restoring confidence in the rail operator.

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