Former judge to lead rail fail inquiry

RETIRED District Court Judge Michael Forde will lead an inquiry into the troubled $4.4 billion rollout of new trains for southeast Queensland.

Cabinet signed off on his appointment on Monday.

Retired judge Michael Forde. Picture: Marc Robertson
Retired judge Michael Forde. Picture: Marc Robertson

It comes after The Courier-Mail revealed both former premier Campbell Newman and the Palaszczuk Government had agreed to publicly release cabinet documents related to the $4.4 billion new generation rollingstock rollout.

The NGR project - initially begun under the former Bligh Government and then progressed by the former Newman government - has been plagued with problems.

The trains were months behind sche­dule and beset with nagging design issues including disability access problems.

Delivery of the trains was halted in March over design issues.

The Government then announced it would spend $100 million fixing the disability access flaws, awarding the contract to firm Downer with the work to be undertaken at its Maryborough works.

The Government released a statement this afternoon, more than a month after former transport minister - now Treasurer - Jackie Trad and Mr Newman agreed to the release of the Cabinet documents.

Queensland Rail’s New Generation Rollingstock NGR trains. Picture: Supplied
Queensland Rail’s New Generation Rollingstock NGR trains. Picture: Supplied

"Mr Forde will be able to access relevant documents in the procurement process including technical specifications, design approvals and cabinet documents," the statement read.

"Mr Forde will commence his inquiry in August and report to the government with recommendations late this year.

"Mr Forde's full terms of reference will be released once approved by Executive Council."

Mr Forde was last year at the helm of the government's inquiry into the tow truck industry, which led to 22 recommendations, including capping private parking tow fees at $250 and regulating private towing.

The recommendations were adopted in a Bill that went before State Parliament earlier this year.



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