In Transport

Queensland Minister for Transport and Main Roads Scott Emerson

New Future For Queensland Rail

Victor P Taffa

State Parliament today passed a bill establishing the Queensland Rail Transit Authority.

Transport and Main Roads Minister Scott Emerson said the bill would transfer Queensland Rail from a government-owned corporation to a statutory authority, bringing it closer to Government.

“This bill and the recommendations of the Commission of Audit will allow the Newman Government to continue to deliver better rail services in Queensland.” Mr. Emerson said.

“The Government will continue to make the organisation more efficient so we can employ more train crew, deliver better timetables, bring fares under control and add more trains to the network.”

“We will continue to look for ways to encourage greater innovation and efficiency as we position Queensland Rail for the future.”

Mr. Emerson said the Commission of Audit today recommended the use of contestability to measure the outcomes for the reform against the private sector.

“These recommendations are being considered, but we want Queensland Rail to reach a position where it delivers better and more efficient services than the private sector.” Mr. Emerson said.

“Bringing Queensland Rail closer to government today will be the next step in that reform process.”

“Making Queensland Rail a statutory authority also means staff will come under the same system as Queensland teachers, nurses and other public servants.”

“Passengers won’t notice any changes and all Queensland Rail staff contracts and benefits will continue.”

The Labor Government was warned in 2009 that Queensland Rail was the most expensive passenger network per kilometre in Australia and chose to ignore the problem.

Without action, taxpayer funding of Queensland Rail would need to increase from $1.6 Billion to $1.9 Billion over the next two years.

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