Rail Tram and Bus Union Queensland Branch
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Threat of Rail Privatisation: Queensland Rail

Attached is a document taken from the LNP Government’s website indicating their preference to privatise Queensland Rail through a tendering process. (points 15 & 16) Below the references to Rail you will find the same reference to Bus operations.

The second column displays the Newman Cabinet’s position on the Costello Report (Independent Queensland Commission of Audit) recommendations (which is “accepted") The Independent Chair of the Audit was Peter Costello.

In respect of the bus operations the RTBU had meetings in the Transport Ministers office on two occasions last year and was advised on both occasions that the timetable to commence the privatisation process for buses is September, 2015.

However, when it comes to the issues of rail privatisation, even though Government has approved the tendering process at Cabinet level, the Union has continually been advised that they have no plans to privatise QR and would prefer to keep it in the public sector. This has included public statements in the media by the Transport Minister to this effect.

The RTBU has been running an anti-privatisation campaign specifically relating to the bus operations given the commitment provided by the Government to commence the privatisation process in September this year. However, it is difficult to run an anti-privatisation campaign in relation to QR when the Government is publically saying that it is not their intention to do so even though the Cabinet decision to accept the recommendation to tender out rail business is still on their official web site as being “accepted”.

However, recently the RTBU has been informed that late last year the Newman Government engaged a company, (namely King & Wood Mallesons) to provide advice on franchising the Queensland Rail business in South East Queensland.

This is of significant concern to this Union as it is not impossible for the Newman Government to change their position after the election as they did when it came to the 14,000 public servants jobs last time round. They would also have in their possession evidence that they had publically indicated that this may occur, namely the attachment to this Circular.

The RTBU is approaching the media to try and get this message out, but given the amount of election based news, it is far from easy to penetrate main stream media.

It is therefore important that members get the message to their family and friends that there is a true potential for even more privatisation to occur in the rail industry if the Newman Government is returned. The RTBU is not asking members to vote for any specific party but are strongly encouraging members to fill all the boxes on their ballot papers ensuring they put the LNP last. There is a whole host of reasons why the RTBU would like to see an end to the Newman Government not only relating to the appalling attack on members’ conditions, particularly, job security through State-wide legislation as well as the assault on conditions in recent draft Agreements.

However, the big issue for us is yet another privatisation battle in the rail area in conjunction with the almost certain battle that is going to occur in the Brisbane City Council bus area. Therefore, I re-iterate the position of the RTBU is that we seek members to put the LNP last.

Unity is Strength

Owen Doogan
RTBU State Secretary,
Queensland Branch

A Plan - Better Services for Queenslanders PDF 676KB - Queensland Government Response to the Independent Commission of Audit Final Report