Premier, QR quizzed on Ipswich line closure for games
QUEENSLAND Rail and the State Government are under pressure to guarantee that Ipswich passenger services won't be sacrificed during the Commonwealth Games.
The State Opposition has accused QR of developing modelling ahead of the April, 2018 Games, in which the Shorncliffe, Redcliffe and Rosewood lines would be closed for the duration of the sporting event to free up drivers for the Gold Coast.
Shadow transport spokesman and MP for Glass House, Andrew Powell, asked the Premier about the supposed Commonwealth Games modelling during State Parliament question time on Friday morning.
"Can the Premier confirm whether the Palaszczuk Government is modelling closing the Shorncliffe, Redcliffe and Rosewood Lines for the duration of the Commonwealth Games to free up drivers to work on the Gold Coast and will the Premier rule this out, guaranteeing that no train lines will close during the Commonwealth Games?" Mr Powell asked.
Ms Palaszczuk initially tried to cut the response back to a simple, "I'll get back to you", but after jeers from the opposite side of the room, she offered a non-committal explanation.
"What we do know is that we will need extra drivers because there will be pressure points during the Commonwealth Games," she said.
"I will be working through those issues with (Queensland Rail Chairman) Phillip Strachan and the CEO (Nick Easy).
"If there are impacts to other services we will make sure the public is updated and knows in advance."
Queensland Rail CEO Nick Easy said while he expected the Commonwealth Games to place a high level of stress on the transport network, there were currently no plans to close any other lines during this period.
Following the question from Mr Powell on Friday, Mr Easy said he updated the Premier on the latest on QR's modelling ahead of the Commonwealth Games.
"I have advised the Queensland Government that while detailed work is under way in preparation for the Commonwealth Games, no modelling has been undertaken by Queensland Rail to close any rail lines during this period," he said.
"Queensland Rail is working with the Department of Transport and Main Roads, which is building an integrated public transport solution for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.
"The robust stress test undertaken by Queensland Rail has identified the Commonwealth Games as a key stress point over the next 12 months which will require careful management.
"We will continue to work with DTMR on a transport plan that services the Commonwealth Games and south-east Queensland commuters during this time."