Emerson Promises That Queenslanders Will Get A Seat On Sunlander Services

Emerson Promises That Queenslanders Will Get A Seat On Sunlander Services

Queensland Minister for Transport and Main Roads Scott Emerson

Palaszczuk’s Great Train Scandal

Victor P Taffa

Labor leader Annastacia Palaszczuk’s scandalous management of Queensland’s travel train replacement program extended well beyond forgetting to include seats, a new report has exposed.

Transport and Main Roads Minister Scott Emerson said today’s report by Auditor-General Andrew Greaves showed the Sunlander project, which was signed off by the former Transport Minister in August 2011, was a ‘case study in obfuscation and ill-informed decision making’.

“The Leader of the Opposition needs to tell Queensland families whether she was simply incompetent when she signed over $195 Million of taxpayer funds, or whether she hid the fact that the project would blow out by another $200 Million.” Mr. Emerson said.



“The auditor-general’s report revealed the full project costs was conservatively estimated in the range of $358 Million to $404 Million.”

“Ms. Palaszczuk’s approval showed a scandalous disregard for governance and exposed Queensland taxpayers’ to a massive bill, similar to the bungled health payroll saga, water grid and other Labor failures.” Mr. Emerson said.

“The auditor-general’s report has highlighted the risk posed by the Opposition Leader and Labor if Queenslanders vote for a return to waste and mismanagement at the next election.”

Mr. Emerson said the Sunlander 14 project was signed off by Ms. Palaszczuk in August 2011 as three 14-car trains to operate between Brisbane and Cairns.

“When the Newman Government came to office, due diligence showed potential for a significant cost blowout after Labor forgot to order seats and include a proper maintenance facility.” Mr. Emerson said.

“The project was re-scoped and all three 9-car Spirit of Queensland trains will now be operating by the end of December, on time and within a budget of $204 Million.”

“It took an enormous effort to prevent this project from blowing out as the contracts were signed when we came to government.”

“We have a strong team with a strong plan to fix the Queensland economy and this project shows a Labor leader who is unfit to govern.” Mr. Emerson said.

“I also welcome the findings that the current Queensland Rail board’s efforts ‘are encouraging and demonstrate QR has already learned from the failing of the Sunlander 14 project’.”

All recommendations from the report will be delivered with the government considering further investigation of those involved in the original decision.