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QR bosses quit after staffing debacle

AAP logoAAP 27/10/2016 Jamie McKinnell

Queensland Rail's CEO and chairman have taken the fall for a staffing debacle that led to the cancellation of services in the state's southeast last week.

QR's chief executive Helen Gluer and board chairman Michael Klug resigned on Thursday afternoon, almost a week after the fiasco caused commuter chaos.

Ms Gluer had previously accepted full responsibility for last Friday's debacle, even though the head of QR's train service delivery was sidelined.

Transport Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said Neil Scales, the director-general of the Department of Transport and Main Roads, was appointed as interim chief executive.

"An international recruitment search for a full-time CEO will be initiated," said Mr Hinchliffe, who will meet with Mr Scales on Friday.

But the Liberal National Party opposition believed it was Mr Hinchliffe who should lose his job.

"The buck stops with the minister," LNP transport spokesman Andrew Powell said.

A backlog in QR's driver training courses could lead to more issues down the track, with the LNP predicting Mr Hinchliffe's "rail chaos" was the new norm.

But Mr Powell was not willing to answer questions about the 25 trainers that were made redundant while the Newman government was in power and what impact those cuts had leading up to the current predicament.

"No direction was given by the shareholding minister as claimed by the unions," he said.

Mr Powell was asked a dozen times whether trainer numbers fell under the LNP but refused to answer.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk also announced an inquiry into the matter.

The terms of reference for the three-month probe include the adequacy QR's scheduling, rostering, training crewing, recruitment and training practices.

Ms Palaszczuk said she shared customers' frustration.

"I was furious - the entire cabinet was furious," she told ABC radio.

"We were not told that there were any issues at all to do with a lack of drivers."

An interim service timetable announced this week will mean about 30 services will be cut each weekday, while others will be altered.

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