People power gets Ipswich-Rosewood line back up and running
IPSWICH is a railway town and don't the bureaucrats know it after a month-long public campaign which will see the Ipswich-Rosewood line open again this weekend.
Buses had been running on weekends on the line since November 12 and 13 and commuters had been up in arms about the extra time taken to travel.
There were also issues for those with large mobility scooters.
A concerted campaign led by Cr David Pahlke, Ipswich West MP Jim Madden, public transport advocate Robert Dow and residents who contacted the QT has achieved a positive result.
Then Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk stepped in to assist.
Ms Palaszczuk visited Rosewood recently where she met locals in the street who told her about the issues on the line they were facing.
One resident in particular struck a chord with the Premier.
"While I was visiting Rosewood recently, I was talking to a man who explained to me what a major issue this was for him and local commuters,” Ms Palaszczuk told the QT.
"I was adamant we would fix this so commuters were not disadvantaged travelling each day on the public transport network.
"As soon as I left Rosewood, I called the Transport Minister (Stirling Hinchliffe) and told him we needed to fix this.
"We needed to make sure people in Rosewood had access to regular public transport.”
Ms Palaszczuk said she was delighted that the service would now be up and running again.
"This is good news for the community of Rosewood and I am pleased we were able to get a great outcome.”
Lyndell Giansiracusa uses the Ipswich-Rosewood line to get to work and was delighted the trains were back.
"I live at Brassall and I work at the Rosewood Drakes Supa IGA and catch the train to work from Booval or Ipswich stations,” she said.
"It is extremely important for me that the trains are back. It could take me anywhere from an hour to an hour and 15 minutes to get to work but it only takes 20 minutes on the train.
"It is going to be a huge bonus for our customers out here now the trains are back.
"There are a lot of older people who need to catch the train, as do people with their scooters.
"We had numerous complaints when the buses were running about how hopeless it was.”
Ms Giansiracusa said she appreciated the input of Cr Pahlke and Ms Palaszczuk to get a positive result.
"David has been fantastic at keeping up the pressure and it is good to see the Premier looking out for the locals out here,” she said.
Mr Madden said, "the great thing is that the rail service is back, not just for a certain period of time, but it will now stay there”.
"I'd like to thank Robert Dow and (acting editor) Andrew Korner at the QT for backing the campaign,” he said.
"Keeping the media attention on this has helped me in my negotiations with QR, Translink and the Minister.
"My understanding from QR has been that this was a staffing issue and that there was a shortage of drivers and guards.
"But now I have been told by the office of the Minister that service will resume I can only assume they have sorted out the staffing problems.”
Cr Pahlke, who had been a prime mover in sticking up for his residents and keeping the heat on the State Government, thanked Mr Madden for "going in to bat” for his community.
Mr Hinchliffe has copped plenty of heat for a series of train service debacles but Mr Madden said he had been supportive of the need to solve the problems.
Mr Madden said residents along the line would be relieved their trains were back.
"It means the return of hourly services in both directions of travel just in time for local residents to finish their Christmas shopping and to catch up with family and friends for the festive season,” he said.