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What went wrong in the Qld rail debacle

AAP logoAAP 31/10/2016 David Sigston

HOW THE DEBACLE UNFOLDED

2010

DECEMBER - State and federal governments sign a funding deal for the Redcliffe Peninsula rail line, more than a century after it was first proposed

2016

JANUARY

- External consultants prepare a report for Queensland Rail, warning of an impending train driver shortage. State Transport Minister Stirling Hinchliffe later says he was never given a copy.

OCTOBER 4

- Redcliffe Peninsula line officially opens.

OCTOBER 20

- QR tells Hinchliffe a driver shortage will hit commuter services the following day because not enough staff have been trained for the new line

OCTOBER 21

- More than 100 train services are cancelled but commuters are told servcies should return to normal the following day

- QR Rail CEO Helen Gluer apologises for the fiasco

OCTOBER 23

- Hinchliffe attends the Gold Coast 600, opting to dial in rather than personally attend an emergency QR board meeting in Brisbane

- A furious Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk demands answers and refuses to rule out sackings at QR

OCTOBER 24

- Opposition demands Hinchliffe step down or be axed

OCTOBER 25

- Reduced, interim timetable comes into effect across the southeastern rail network

- QR CEO Helen Gluer resigns, admitting planning for the new line was seriously flawed. QR chairman Michael Klug also resigns.

- Premier announces an inquiry into what went wrong

OCTOBER 27

- The Liberal National Party opposition refuses to say if the number of trainers employed to train QR drivers dropped while it was in power

- Neil Scales, the transport department's director-general, appointed as QR's interim chief executive

OCTOBER 28

- QR says train services are running in line with reduced timetables despite reports of further commuter chaos

OCTOBER 29

- Hinchliffe admits public transport advocate Paul Pluta emailed him in March, warning him of a driver shortage linked to a new fleeet of trains

OCTOBER 30

- Hinchliffe says he won't resign, and the premier offers him her support

OCTOBER 31

- QR says it's working to fix problems with the new train fleet, including design faults that mean drivers can't see where they're meant to stop on platforms

November 1

- Hinchliffe says he only learned about the January report - which warned of a driver shortage - on October 31 when journalists contacted him. Says he's "deeply concerned" about not being informed it existed

- Opposition says the minister is like Sergeant Schultz with his "I know nothing" responses, and he must quit or the premier must sack him

- Hinchliffe addresses parliament on the fiasco, refusing to step down and demanding the LNP release all briefing notes and reports relevant to train driver recruitment

- Hinchliffe narrowly escapes a no-confidence motion in parliament

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