Labor’s Rail Fail Cost Blows Out To $160 Million

by Ted Sorensen
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It’s official – Queensland Labor has wasted $160 million of taxpayer funds trying to fix the Palaszczuk Government’s epic rail fail.

Today in Parliamentary Estimates hearings, the LNP Opposition confirmed that since Southeast Queensland’s rail network was plunged into crisis in October 2016, Labor had spent hundreds of millions of dollars trying to fix their mess.

“Almost two years down the track and the commuters of SEQ are still expected to put up with 472 fewer train services per week, constant cancellations and crowded trains,” LNP Leader Deb Frecklington said.

“Under Annastacia Palaszczuk and Labor SEQ has gone from having one of the most reliable, on-time train systems in Australia to one of the worst and there’s no end in sight.

“Even more appalling is that Queenslanders have been slugged almost $160 million to fix Labor’s mistakes.”

Ms Frecklington said publicly available documents reveal rail fail has incurred the following costs to be borne by all Queenslanders:

$41.5M                   Overtime payments made to CityTrain TrainCrew October 2016 – May 2018
$1.5M                     “Show up to work” or bonus payments for all QR TrainCrew not to take unnecessary leave during the 2 weeks of the Commonwealth Games
$101.4M                 Strachan Inquiry costs and inquiry implementation costs
$15.3M                   Deloitte consultants’ advice to implement Strachan Inquiry**
$193,000                Legal costs to defend against action by the RTBU to block external recruitment for train crew

TOTAL                   $159.9 million

LNP Shadow Transport Minister Steve Minnikin said its time for the second-term Labor Government to stop the blame game and take responsibility for the sad state of Queensland Rail.

“Southeast Queenslanders just want their train system fixed so their kids can get to school and they can get to work on time,” Mr Minnikin said.

“Thanks to Labor’s rail fail, commuters are paying more and getting less.”

**Additional information advised in Estimates 27 July

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