Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk astonished that QR attempted to give senior staff bonuses.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk astonished that QR attempted to give senior staff bonuses.

Premier furious at latest rail fail

PREMIER Annastacia Palaszczuk has refused to say if she has faith in the Queensland Rail board amid revelations it approved millions of dollars in bonuses for their senior managers.

It comes after The Courier-Mail revealed that the government was to stop the hefty bonuses of up to 15 per cent that were to be granted to 384 staff at a cost of $3.6 million.

The Opposition has cast doubt as to when the government was alerted to the payments, claiming they were buried in QR's annual report on Friday.

Ms Palaszczuk yesterday said she was astonished with QR's decision to approve the payments and would not say if she had faith in its board.

"Frankly, customers expect better and Queensland Rail needs to do better," she said.

"I believe that the shareholding Ministers have made the correct decision here and have done the appropriate thing in terms of issuing that direction to axe the bonuses."

Ms Palaszczuk said until certain measures were met with regards to QR's timetable, she would continue to endorse the axing of bonuses.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk will not endorse bonuses until commitments over timetables are met. Picture: AAP/Dan Peled
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk will not endorse bonuses until commitments over timetables are met. Picture: AAP/Dan Peled

Deputy Opposition Leader Tim Mander said the government had responded too late to the bonuses, claiming they were mentioned in QR's report released last week.

"They are either incompetent or lying if they claim that they didn't know that this was in these reports," he said.

"At last the government has responded to the LNP's calls to suspend these bonuses for these rail executives.

"Bonuses should not be paid to executives when trains cannot run on time."

Deputy LNP leader Tim Mander says the Palaszczuk Government should have acted quicker to stop the bonuses. Picture: Anna Rogers
Deputy LNP leader Tim Mander says the Palaszczuk Government should have acted quicker to stop the bonuses. Picture: Anna Rogers

QR's latest annual report revealed it still faced a number of challenges and is yet to implement 18 of the 36 recommendations from the Strachan Commission of Inquiry.

It also showed staff were taking sick leave at a much higher rate than expected, with unscheduled absences running at 12.45 days per employee in 2017/18.

Despite a number of shortcomings, the report claims QR was able to meet a 99.5 per cent reliability target for its 24/7 Citytrain services.

QR yesterday declined to comment.



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