"Once again Deb Frecklington has released misleading and incorrect information.
Firstly, she misleads Parliament during question time and now she is deliberately misrepresenting false information on this matter with limited and old data.
Ms Frecklington is using figures that do not include tutor drivers and are nearly six months out of date which the RTI date clearly shows.
The truth is that the Palaszczuk Government is committed to fixing the trains, and during 2017, made good progress in recruiting and training additional train crew to help stabilise its operations while continuing to provide sustainable and reliable services for our customers.
By accelerating recruitment, boosting the capacity of driver and guard training schools and streamlining its training process, Queensland Rail has been able to prevent further reductions and successfully stabilise its workforce.
We always said fixing the trains would not happen overnight, but we are now beginning to see our overall train crew supply increase. These numbers will continue to increase steadily in coming months and as we progress our external recruitment campaign which is in its final stages.
Since 4 October 2016, Queensland Rail had selected 140 new trainee drivers and 255 new trainee guards, of which 77 drivers and 196 guards have completed their training and are working out on the network (as of 7 May 2018).
This has brought the net increase to 36 additional fully qualified drivers on the network compared to 4 October 2016, which includes tutor drivers and train operations inspectors. Tutor drivers and train operations inspectors are focussed on training new recruits as quickly and as safely as possible to increase overall driver numbers, but can also be utilised as drivers in times of peak demand.
Since 4 October 2016, a number of drivers have transitioned to other roles within Queensland Rail, including 16 drivers who were appointed to tutor driver positions in order to boost Queensland Rail’s training capacity.
A further 22 drivers left during this time due to natural attrition reasons, such as retirement.
Deb Frecklington’s relentless negativity and desperate misuse of old data to grab a headline calls into question her integrity as a leader.
The misleading allegation is especially galling given the LNP did not commence the training of a single driver in the last year they were in power.
Under the LNP watch driver training was cancelled in 2014 and train driver recruitment suspended.
It’s outrageous that the LNP is still harping on about this when their track record is that not ONE driver was trained in their last year of government.
Under the Palaszczuk government, more drivers will commence training this year alone, than we saw under the entire term of the LNP government.
This is the biggest recruitment drive Queensland Rail has ever undertaken, with more than 10,000 applications received.
The Palaszczuk government is working to get more drivers on line as soon as possible and that’s happening right now but we are proceeding to ensure all training required is done with the safety of our passengers as a priority."
Minister for Transport and Main Roads
The Honourable Mark Bailey