Worry surrounds transfer of Qld Rail to statutory authority

THE Newman Government claims transferring Queensland Rail to a statutory authority will pave the way for better services - but others fear it will mean further job cuts.

Queensland Rail will transfer from a government-owned corporation to statutory authority after Transport Minister Scott Emerson announced in Parliament on Monday he would introduce reforms this week.

Mr Emerson said the move would mean Queensland Rail would be closer to the government and bring staff under the same system as nurses, teachers and public servants.

"We will make the organisation more efficient so we can employ more train crew, deliver better timetables and add more trains to the network," he said.

"Passengers won't notice any changes and all Queensland Rail staff contracts and benefits will continue."

The Minister said Queensland Rail depended on 80% of its funding from taxpayers.

The government has denied fears the move will bring QR closer to privatisation but the Opposition disagrees.

"The changes will make it easier to cut staff wages and sack more workers making the organisation more attractive to private buyers," shadow Transport Minister Jackie Trad said

"With the existing EB agreement running out, Queensland Rail staff will be brought under the state industrial regime for other government employees.

"Last year the Newman Government used its huge majority to pass legislation giving it power to make forced redundancies and effectively shackling the state industrial umpire as a way for the government to directly control wages and conditions."

The changes are expected to roll out in May.



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