Passenger Rail, Workforce, Certification & Training

Minister defends internal recruiting for Queensland Rail jobs


Queensland transport minister Stirling Hinchliffe has again gone on the defensive, this time over accusations the newly-announced recruitment push for drivers and guards to solve Queensland Rail’s short-staffing crisis has been weakened by a union agreement which favours existing staff.

Hinchliffe reportedly said there was nothing out of the ordinary about QR recruiting internally for the 100 new drivers and 100 new guards announced on October 24 by the minister, after roughly 100 services had to be cancelled due to a lack of qualified staff.

According to the ABC, the minister said while new crews were initially being sought internally, a second, external recruitment stage would also take place.

“On October 24, I announced the recruitment of an additional 100 drivers and 100 guards would occur,” he was quoted as saying.

“Consistent with practice and consistent with the 2013 and 2016 enterprise agreements, these applications were opened for internal applicants.

“I can advise that 394 applications were received for the 100 driver positions. Further, 505 applications were received for the 100 guard positions.

“We have received those strong numbers of applicants, and following consideration of those applications, QR will then determine if external recruitment is required.”

Hinchliffe said the process was in line with what is defined in the 2013 agreement between QR and the rail unions.