Rail Tram and Bus Union Queensland Branch
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LNP derails Moreton Bay rail link project

When the Federal and State LNP pulled over $150 million from the funding of the Moreton Bay Rail Link Project (MBRL) in 2014, they called it removing the gold plating – now we see they just had no idea what they were doing.

The Government advised the RTBU yesterday that due to the apparent non-compatibility of the MBRL signalling system with the QR system meant there would be an indefinite delay in opening the new line.

This is disgraceful and negatively impacts on many members’ personal plans to transfer to work in that area over and above the impact on the potential passengers with expectations of a service.

The problems are quite complex and technical but in simple terms it is that the systems which govern how trains move between the MBRL and the rest of the network aren’t compatible. The system just doesn’t talk properly to the rest of the network.

The Newman Government ordered the incompatible system as part of their cost cutting exercise.

It’s like trying to join old school copper based dial up internet with superfast fibre based broadband – they are two different things. It never should have happened.

I had a discussion with the transport minister yesterday morning about this issue and I’m confident he is taking the right action – getting QR to manage the rectification and allowing them – the experts in this field – to determine when the repaired system is safe and fit for purpose.

QR had successfully managed the Gold Coast line, the Springfield line and many other upgrades with no hold ups. For some reason the Qld LNP wouldn’t even let them bid on the MBRL. The LNP’s blind ideological obsession with using private contractors led them to ensure that QR, the experts at building railways, couldn’t even bid for the work.

What we see now is a real dogs breakfast, caused by the 2014 $159 million dollar cut of Federal funding for this project by the Abbott/Turnbull Federal Government, cheered on by the then LNP Transport Minister Scott Emerson.

The RTBU has a long history of supporting safe and reliable railway in Australia. We share the disappointment of our members and the community at the delay in commencement, but ensuring these systems are fixed is about more than convenience, it’s about the safety of our members and the travelling public and that’s our number one priority.

Unity is Strength

Owen Doogan
RTBU State Secretary,
Queensland Branch