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

Trad 'warned' of looming Qld train saga

AAP logoAAP 23/12/2016 Jamie McKinnell

Queensland's opposition claims the state government could have prevented October's train timetable meltdown amid reports Deputy Premier Jackie Trad was warned one year before the crisis unfolded.

A staff member anonymously contacted the Transport Department warning of the "disastrous situation" in October 2015 when Ms Trad was the responsible minister, the Seven Network has reported.

The network's Right to Information request revealed the staff member warned there was a large number of services without the necessary drivers.

They also highlighted the disbanding of a training section, a blowout in training times, a lack of training staff and a bulk retirement of experienced drivers.

"There will be major damage: massive cancellations," notes from the call said.

The notes were reportedly forwarded to two senior advisors of Ms Trad, but the department ruled that no further information was required.

It has previously been revealed current Transport Minister Stirling Hinchliffe's department was warned of the looming problems in March.

"It's unforgivable that not one but two ... transport ministers could have prevented the timetable debacle but chose to do nothing," opposition transport spokesman Andrew Powell said.

"It's an insult to Queenslanders and quite frankly, it's bad governance."

A spokeswoman for Ms Trad said following the anonymous call, a Queensland Rail briefing informed both Ms Trad and Treasurer Curtis Pitt 100 new drivers and 100 new guards were being recruited.

This was to meet the requirements of projects like the Moreton Bail Rail Link, the opening of which triggered a major timetable meltdown in October when widespread service cancellations caused commuter chaos.

"At no stage did Queensland Rail (QR) provide any advice to the Deputy Premier that train crew availability was a risk to the opening of the new Moreton Bay Rail Link," the spokeswoman said.

The saga resulted in the resignations of senior QR bureaucrats, but Mr Hinchliffe has resisted multiple calls for him to resign or be sacked as the train network runs on a scaled-back timetable.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon