Queensland Rail has begun advertising for former guards and drivers to re-join the company after a short-staffing crisis last year resulted in the resignation of several key staff and the state’s transport minister.
Newly-appointed transport minister Jackie Trad, who replaced Stuart Hinchliffe last week, says the state has made moves to boost the size of QR’s driver and guard training intake.
Trad said the moves represented a core step towards fixing Queensland’s train timetables, and were the result of the recently-completed Strachan Commission of Inquiry.
“The Strachan Inquiry was clear,” Trad said.
“We need to boost driver and guard numbers quickly and safely.”
25 new trainee drivers and 40 new trainee guards started on Monday, February 13.
Over the weekend, QR also began advertising for past staff to re-joint he company “and boost our ranks,” Trad said.
“My top priority is to ensure that Queensland Rail’s customers have reliable, efficient train services,” the minister explained.
As part of the Strachan Inquiry recommendations, QR will be training new staff on specific sections of the network, so as to reduce the training time from 18 to 9 months.
“There is no quick solution,” Trad noted.
“Fixing Queensland Rail will take time, dedication and most of all innovation and change.
“Our Government’s response sets out that change and the direction we need to turn Queensland Rail around, which will involve major changes to Queensland Rail’s structure and operations.
“I am committed to drive the reform of Queensland Rail so it delivers a modern transport system which Queenslanders can be proud of.”
The QR driver school’s 25 trainee intake on Monday was more than double the average intake prior to the opening of the Redcliffe Peninsula line, Trad said.