Rail Tram and Bus Union Queensland Branch
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Is It Really ZERO Harm or Is It ZERO Cost?

Your Union was made aware, on the Anzac day long weekend, that the yard lights at Yukan yard are faulty and have not been working for some weeks and the Rail operators (ROs) would be required to shunt the yard.

Members believed that it was a dangerous practice and contacted Your Union for assistance.

I immediately contacted the responsible manager who acknowledged he was aware of the yard lights issue. He (the responsible manager) said it was a complicated issue and Aurizon was working with Network to resolve it.

I indicated the concerns of members and only after some stern discussions was it agreed that the ROs and the supervisor would discuss a plan to get the shunt done whilst the lights were out.

Several hours’ later members reported that a temporary solution had been agreed whereby “Blocks” would be placed on adjacent roads, extra vehicles would be required as well as extra staff deployed as lookouts and the shunt was done.

Sadly, members are reporting that the issue with the lights is that Aurizon and Network are disagreeing about who is responsible for the lights and who should pay to get them fixed.

This is leading members to say “it makes a total joke out of Aurizon’s ZERO harm statements”.

Over the weekend I wrote to the responsible manger pointing out that the lights have been put there for safety and in the past a lot of money would have been spent to install them and I have no doubt that safety really was their concern when they were installed.

The reports about cost and who pays are very disturbing, leading your Union to question: “is it ZERO harm or ZERO cost” that drives Aurizon today?

Safety is the priority and if zero harm is even remotely a part of Aurizon’s philosophy, they should take immediate steps to arrange for the lighting to be provided. They can then have their legal and business relationship teams liaise with whatever parties they wish to address whether or not Aurizon should be reimbursed for the repairs.

I have asked for an urgent response on the future of the repair for the lights as well as suggesting Aurizon spends a few dollars and hires some portable day-makers for use in the yard whilst the issue is addressed. At the time of writing a response has not been received.

Come on Aurizon … it’s time to show your workforce that it’s a not “ZERO dollars” philosophy.

Unity is Strength

Bruce Mackie
Queensland State President