Passenger Rail, Workforce, Certification & Training

CEO, chairman of Queensland Rail resign over short-staffing drama

Queensland Rail train. Photo:

Queensland Rail chief executive Helen Gluer and chairman Michael Klug have resigned after the passenger operator was forced to cancel roughly 100 services last week due to a lack of qualified staff.

State transport minister Stirling Hinchliffe on Thursday said Gluer had handed in her resignation.

Hinchliffe announced director-general of the Department of Transport and Main Roads Neil Scales had been appointed acting CEO.

He said an international recruitment search was underway to find a full-time replacement.

The news came just days after Gluer axed Queensland Rail’s head of train service delivery in the wake of revelations the operator’s staff numbers couldn’t handle the newly-introduced timetable, which caters for the recently-opened Redcliffe Peninsula line.

Gluer said at that time (Tuesday, October 25) she was disappointed Queensland Rail had not delivered for its customers over the past three weeks.

“I need to know why this issue was not alerted to me and offer my full support to the independent investigation,” Gluer had said.

“I was advised that we could meet the new timetable and told that the recruitment processes that we were going through were adequate.

“It is the responsibility of Train Service Delivery to ensure that we have adequate resources to staff our rosters and service the timetable and I am not confident that the senior manager adequately carried out his responsibilities in this regard.

“We are incredibly proud of our service delivery, right from the leadership team, down to the train controllers and the dedicated customer service staff.

“We are now working incredibly hard to turn this around as quickly as possible and we have seen the early results of our efforts this morning.

“It is my absolute expectation that we uncover and explain how this situation occurred and are able to restore confidence in our services.”

Two days later, Gluer tendered her resignation.

Along with appointing Scales as interim CEO, the government has also appointed former Rio Tinto executive Phillip Strachan to lead an investigation into the debacle.