Labor Admits Games Rail ‘Debacle’

by Ted Sorensen
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  • Labor MP Bruce Saunders admits Commonwealth Games rail transport is a “debacle”
  • Jackie Trad’s rail fail is putting the 2018 Commonwealth Games at risk
  • Labor Government was asked multiple times during Estimates if Commonwealth Games transport strategy was on track and we were told yes

A Labor MP who sits on the Commonwealth Games parliamentary committee says the Games will be a transport “debacle”.

Maryborough Labor MP Bruce Saunders told Triple M Fraser Coast radio on Monday that the Government was “pulling our hair out” at issues including not enough trains and buses.

He said Labor had fallen hopelessly behind in the rollout of New Generation Rollingstock (NGR) trains.

Transcript of Bruce Saunders on Triple M Fraser Coast

“I’m on the Commonwealth Games committee and inside the Labor Party and we’re pulling our hair out at the moment. I’ll be quite honest with people, these trains were supposed to be up and running before the Commonwealth Games. At this stage we may have one set up and running, at this stage we’ve got 15 other sets cannibalised to get one on the ground.

We are going to have a transport debacle. They are working feverishly behind the scenes now to make sure we have enough buses and transport and trains to and from the arenas on the Gold Coast and the Boondall with the cycling and things like that. We’re struggling, no use lying to people saying everything is all good and the people are really trying to get the transport thing up and running for the Commonwealth Games.”

LNP Shadow Transport Minister Andrew Powell said Mr Saunders had let the cat out of the bag on a looming Games’ transport disaster.

“We already knew there was a chance the new trains wouldn’t be ready to go for the Games, and today Bruce Saunders has fessed up,” Mr Powell said.

“It has now been 10 months of rail fail under this Palaszczuk Labor Government with no end in sight.

“Labor have trained only 28 of the 200 drivers required to fix rail fail. Unless they get cracking, spectators and visitors will be stranded at stations during the Games.

“With the eyes of the world on us, that would be a public relations disaster for the Coast and Queensland.”

Mr Powell said Mr Saunders had countless opportunities during Estimates to question the Commonwealth Games Minister on the games transport strategy.

“If Mr Saunders knew there was a ‘rail debacle’ happening on Jackie Trad’s watch, why did he not raise these questions in Estimates?” Mr Powell said.

“We asked the Government on multiple occasions during Estimates hearings if the transport strategy for the Commonwealth Games was on track and we were told ‘nothing to see here, all fine’.

“Clearly this was not the case.

“How are we supposed to trust the do-nothing Government when their track record on rail speaks for itself?”

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