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RAIL Back On Track New Generation Rollingstock Public Inquiry - discussion

Started by ozbob, March 17, 2018, 11:59:16 AM

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ozbob

Half baked projects, have long term consequences ...
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ozbob

Half baked projects, have long term consequences ...
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ozbob

Couriermail --> Cabinet papers relating to the $4.4 billion new train rollout will be made public

QuoteSECRET Cabinet papers relating to Queensland's bungled $4.4 billion new train rollout will be made public with both sides of politics agreeing to release documents detailing their involvement in the deal.

The Courier-Mail can reveal acting Premier Jackie Trad, former Premier Campbell Newman and LNP Leader Deb Frecklington have agreed to the release of documents that will help paint a picture of what went wrong with the New Generation Rollingstock project, a project that has been delayed and plagued with design problems.

An independent third party is likely to be appointed to sift through the documents and release a report into what went wrong but the final details of any such inquiry are yet to be finalised.

The Courier-Mail can reveal Mr Newman had sought advice from the Cabinet secretary and had written to LNP Leader Deb Frecklington on Sunday about his intentions to release Cabinet and Cabinet Budget Review Documents relating to the NGR project.

Ms Frecklington – who was not a member of the former Newman government Cabinet – responded yesterday giving her consent to the release.

"I have sat back in silence the last two years or so and watched this debacle play out," Mr Newman told The Courier-Mail.

"I want to know the answers, the Queensland public deserve to know the answers and if the Newman Government made mistakes then I am more than happy to have those exposed.

"There are two essential questions that have to be asked here. What were the trains that were ordered and what were they meant to deliver and how has the delivery process been managed subsequently by the Palaszczuk Government.

"If the Labor Party at the behest of the unions, have made decisions that have compromised the delivery of these trains then they need to be held to account for those mistakes."

Mr Newman called for a commission of inquiry into the rollout.

Ms Trad revealed she too would consent to relevant documents being released.

But she sheeted any blame for the problems with the NGR project home to the LNP and to Mr Newman's former Government.

"Of course we will release documents that are in the public interest including relevant cabinet submissions," Ms Trad said.

"What they will clearly show is that these were trains procured and contracted under the LNP who crowed about securing half-priced trains from India at the time.

"We have been upfront with the people of Queensland that these trains when procured were not compliant with Australian disability standards.

"That's why we are getting on with the job of fixing them in Maryborough."

Ms Trad indicated an inquiry could be held but it would be unlikely to take the form of a royal commission.

"In terms of the form and structure of the inquiry, we will take some advice in relation to that," she said.

"I am mindful that this is a significant project costing Queensland taxpayers more than $4.4 billion and there ought be a proper investigation, however I don't think it's in the interests of Queenslanders to have a long, drawn out, costly inquiry that further adds to the significant bill that we have for this LNP botch-up".

Mr Newman's decision to make public the Cabinet documents follows a request from commuter group Rail Back on Track for him to answer questions about his government's role in the bungled rollout.

Rail Back on Track has launched its own public NGR inquiry after spokesman Robert Dow's repeated requests for a royal commission fell on deaf ears.

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.


:-t
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ozbob

Looks like our plan has worked.  I have had a couple of discussions with Mr Campbell Newman as the NGR Inquiry has proceeded.

He has assured me that he wants the truth out there, absolutely.  He has taken legal advice and has now secured a committment from the LNP and ALP for an inquiry of sorts.  Our work here is not yet done, as we must ensure they continue to an Inquiry. So we will stay in Inquiry mode until we see the actuality.

I would like to thank Mr Newman for his support.
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ozbob

Sent to all outlets:

6 June 2016

Cabinet papers relating to the $4.4 billion new train rollout will be made public

Good Morning,

Big news ( see article below).

I would like thank former Premier Mr Campbell Newman for his support and actions in driving this outcome.  Thank you Sir.

We will continue our NGR Inquiry until we see the commitments translated into actuality.

On the surface though, a great day for transparency and accountability.

Best wishes,
Robert

Robert Dow
Administration
admin@backontrack.org
RAIL Back On Track https://backontrack.org

Couriermail --> Cabinet papers relating to the $4.4 billion new train rollout will be made public

QuoteSECRET Cabinet papers relating to Queensland's bungled $4.4 billion new train rollout will be made public with both sides of politics agreeing to release documents detailing their involvement in the deal.

The Courier-Mail can reveal acting Premier Jackie Trad, former Premier Campbell Newman and LNP Leader Deb Frecklington have agreed to the release of documents that will help paint a picture of what went wrong with the New Generation Rollingstock project, a project that has been delayed and plagued with design problems.

An independent third party is likely to be appointed to sift through the documents and release a report into what went wrong but the final details of any such inquiry are yet to be finalised.

The Courier-Mail can reveal Mr Newman had sought advice from the Cabinet secretary and had written to LNP Leader Deb Frecklington on Sunday about his intentions to release Cabinet and Cabinet Budget Review Documents relating to the NGR project.

Ms Frecklington – who was not a member of the former Newman government Cabinet – responded yesterday giving her consent to the release.

"I have sat back in silence the last two years or so and watched this debacle play out," Mr Newman told The Courier-Mail.

"I want to know the answers, the Queensland public deserve to know the answers and if the Newman Government made mistakes then I am more than happy to have those exposed.

"There are two essential questions that have to be asked here. What were the trains that were ordered and what were they meant to deliver and how has the delivery process been managed subsequently by the Palaszczuk Government.

"If the Labor Party at the behest of the unions, have made decisions that have compromised the delivery of these trains then they need to be held to account for those mistakes."

Mr Newman called for a commission of inquiry into the rollout.

Ms Trad revealed she too would consent to relevant documents being released.

But she sheeted any blame for the problems with the NGR project home to the LNP and to Mr Newman's former Government.

"Of course we will release documents that are in the public interest including relevant cabinet submissions," Ms Trad said.

"What they will clearly show is that these were trains procured and contracted under the LNP who crowed about securing half-priced trains from India at the time.

"We have been upfront with the people of Queensland that these trains when procured were not compliant with Australian disability standards.

"That's why we are getting on with the job of fixing them in Maryborough."

Ms Trad indicated an inquiry could be held but it would be unlikely to take the form of a royal commission.

"In terms of the form and structure of the inquiry, we will take some advice in relation to that," she said.

"I am mindful that this is a significant project costing Queensland taxpayers more than $4.4 billion and there ought be a proper investigation, however I don't think it's in the interests of Queenslanders to have a long, drawn out, costly inquiry that further adds to the significant bill that we have for this LNP botch-up".

Mr Newman's decision to make public the Cabinet documents follows a request from commuter group Rail Back on Track for him to answer questions about his government's role in the bungled rollout.

Rail Back on Track has launched its own public NGR inquiry after spokesman Robert Dow's repeated requests for a royal commission fell on deaf ears.

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.

Attached [ https://railbotforum.org/mbs/index.php?topic=13112.msg208681#msg208681 ]
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ozbob

Half baked projects, have long term consequences ...
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ozbob

Half baked projects, have long term consequences ...
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InclusionMoves

Plan what plan I see no plan :-) Bloody awesome result OzBob

Geoff

Quote from: ozbob on June 06, 2018, 02:31:55 AM
Looks like our plan has worked.  I have had a couple of discussions with Mr Campbell Newman as the NGR Inquiry has proceeded.

He has assured me that he wants the truth out there, absolutely.  He as taken legal advice and has now secured a committment from the LNP and ALP for an inquiry of sorts.  Our work here is not yet done, as we must ensure they continue to an Inquiry. So we will stay in Inquiry mode until we see the actuality.

I would like to thank Mr Newman for his support.
Geoff Trappett OAM
Phone: 0411812854
Twitter: @inclusionmoves
LinkedIn: https://au.linkedin.com/in/geofftrappettoam
Website: www.inclusionmoves.com.au
Much of our work is pro bono: https://www.paypal.me/InclusionMoves

ozbob

Half baked projects, have long term consequences ...
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ozbob

Been booked for interviews with television - 7 News and 9 News later this morning.

Also did an interview for ABC News (radio).

:-t
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ozbob

https://twitter.com/7NewsBrisbane/status/1004279617664897025

I stressed a Commission of Inquiry Not a Royal Commission.  We have never said that.

Mr Newman also believes a Commission of Inquiry is warranted.

^

https://twitter.com/Robert_Dow/status/1004287554328252417
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ozbob

9 News --> Cabinet documents to be released about bungled Queensland train rollout

QuoteAn independent inquiry into the bungled rollout of Queensland Rail's new trains appears likely after both sides of politics agreed to release cabinet documents relating to the project.

It's hoped the documents will provide clarity over what went wrong in the rollout of the $4.4 billion contract, with both sides of politics claiming they will be vindicated by any probe.

Current LNP Leader Deb Frecklington agreed to a request from former LNP Premier Campbell Newman to release documents relating to the project, while Acting Labor Premier Jackie Trad has also agreed to release relevant material.

The New Generation Rollingstock trains have been delayed and plagued with design problems, in particular failing to meet Australian requirements around disability access.

Geoff Trappett, the founder of Inclusion Moves, said transparency was crucial after successive governments tried to "put up walls to stop that information coming out".

The procurement process started under the Bligh Labor government, but was signed off by the Newman LNP government, with the first trains delivered after Labor returned to power in 2015.

In calling for the review, Mr Newman said the Labor government had questions to answer about how the delivery process was managed.

However he conceded if the LNP government which he led as premier had made mistakes he would be happy for that to come to light as well.

Ms Trad said it was still unclear what form any inquiry would take, and defended not releasing the documents sooner.

"I think (the documents) will show these trains were procured and the contract was signed by the Newman LNP government, and at the time they crowed about the fact they had got half-price trains from India," Ms Trad said.

"Now we're fixing them."

For her part, Ms Frecklington said she believed the documents would implicate Labor, with Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk the transport minister at the time the process was started.

"People want to get to the bottom of the NGR issue, it started in the Bligh government and it will be interesting to see what is in those documents," she told reporters in Townsville.

The opposition leader said the inquiry shouldn't be a Royal Commission, because it would cost too much, but supported calls for an independent arbiter to look at the documents.

Robert Dow, from the Rail Back on Track advocacy group, welcomed the inquiry, saying it would prevent the costly failure ever being repeated.
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achiruel

I think a lot of the media is missing an important point here. The purpose of the inquiry is not to assign blame, it's to prevent a recurrence of this massive clusterf**k!

ozbob

Quote from: achiruel on June 07, 2018, 06:23:28 AM
I think a lot of the media is missing an important point here. The purpose of the inquiry is not to assign blame, it's to prevent a recurrence of this massive clusterf**k!

Indeed.  We keep reiterating that.  Sometimes it gets through.  :-t
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bretto82

Another thing I just thought of was the lnp keep saying red changed the design of the cabs for the guards but if they did not have the functionality for the guard to be there they would have never been able to run until the whole network was doo and the office of the rail safety regulator signed off on doo just another bit to think of

InclusionMoves

Unfortunately there is a large difference between the quote you make and the quote that sounds controversial enough to make the cut (not medias fault they are just doing their job too). Both Rob and I made quotes yesterday around this not being about blame.

Geoff
Quote from: ozbob on June 07, 2018, 06:28:32 AM
Quote from: achiruel on June 07, 2018, 06:23:28 AM
I think a lot of the media is missing an important point here. The purpose of the inquiry is not to assign blame, it's to prevent a recurrence of this massive clusterf**k!

Indeed.  We keep reiterating that.  Sometimes it gets through.  :-t
Geoff Trappett OAM
Phone: 0411812854
Twitter: @inclusionmoves
LinkedIn: https://au.linkedin.com/in/geofftrappettoam
Website: www.inclusionmoves.com.au
Much of our work is pro bono: https://www.paypal.me/InclusionMoves

ozbob

Quote from: bretto82 on June 07, 2018, 06:41:42 AM
Another thing I just thought of was the lnp keep saying red changed the design of the cabs for the guards but if they did not have the functionality for the guard to be there they would have never been able to run until the whole network was doo and the office of the rail safety regulator signed off on doo just another bit to think of

Yo bretto
The fact that the NGRs were designed as DOO does indeed need some rational explanation.  ???
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BrizCommuter

Quote from: ozbob on June 07, 2018, 08:30:40 AM
Quote from: bretto82 on June 07, 2018, 06:41:42 AM
Another thing I just thought of was the lnp keep saying red changed the design of the cabs for the guards but if they did not have the functionality for the guard to be there they would have never been able to run until the whole network was doo and the office of the rail safety regulator signed off on doo just another bit to think of

Yo bretto
The fact that the NGRs were designed as DOO does indeed need some rational explanation.  ???
...and there is a lot more behind that story that needs to come out.  Privatisation by stealth?

ozbob

Quote from: BrizCommuter on June 07, 2018, 09:22:59 AM
Quote from: ozbob on June 07, 2018, 08:30:40 AM
Quote from: bretto82 on June 07, 2018, 06:41:42 AM
Another thing I just thought of was the lnp keep saying red changed the design of the cabs for the guards but if they did not have the functionality for the guard to be there they would have never been able to run until the whole network was doo and the office of the rail safety regulator signed off on doo just another bit to think of

Yo bretto
The fact that the NGRs were designed as DOO does indeed need some rational explanation.  ???
...and there is a lot more behind that story that needs to come out.  Privatisation by stealth?

That perhaps is the logical inference.  Hopefully the cabinet documents will reveal just what was going on at the time.
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SABB

Remember that the NGR project was started by QR and then handed over to TMR.  DOO has been a QR dream since the late 1980s when Ross Dunning became QR's Secretary. So it is likely that the original NGR specs would have been based on DOO units. 

SurfRail

That may be the case but the notion of ordering rollingstock that isn't capable of being worked with a 2-person crew when that is still a system requirement for a number of reasons (with DDA compliance being a major ongoing one moreso than anything else) is mind-bogglingly stupid.  Then again so is a lot of what this state does.
Ride the G:

ozbob

Couriermail --> Government's veil of secrecy a disservice to public


Robert Dow of the public transport users' group Rail Back On Track quite rightly points out that it is important to establish exactly what went wrong with the NGR rollout. Picture: Peter Cronin

QuoteTHE rolling fiasco of Queensland's New Generation Rollingstock (NGR) trains has been, well, something of a train wreck.

Ordered by the previous Newman LNP government, delivery of the 75 new trains being built in India by the Bombardier company began under the Palaszczuk Government.

Something has clearly gone very, very wrong with this expensive and crucial public transport initiative.

But the rollout of the $4.4 billion project has been plagued with problems – from trains not fitting the platforms at stations, braking problems and driver visibility issues, to failing to comply with disability access laws.

Something has clearly gone very, very wrong with this expensive and crucial public transport initiative.

But for years, the taxpayers of Queensland – the people footing the bill and to whom state politicians and ultimately, senior public servants answer – have been unable to find out what because the details have been hidden in that cone of silence that protects Cabinet papers from public scrutiny for three decades.

Denied facts, the public has instead been delivered month after month of a self-serving, finger-pointing blame game by each side of politics keen to shunt responsibility on to the other.

To his immense credit, former premier Campbell Newman yesterday called "enough" and made the rare decision to release Cabinet Budget Review documents relating to the NGR project from his time in power.

It left Acting Premier Jackie Trad – who as a previous transport and infrastructure minister had a close involvement with NGR — little choice but to agree to do the same.

An independent third party is now expected to be appointed to investigate and report. The exact form is yet to be decided. Mr Newman's call for a commission of inquiry was immediately dismissed by Ms Trad as an unnecessarily drawn-out and costly option.

It could be that this issue is ideally suited to Queensland's Auditor-General and his staff, a respected and independent office skilled to probe the financial and performance elements of this project.

What matters is that, finally, questions about who did what, when and why will be answered.

Robert Dow of the public transport users' group Rail Back On Track, who has been relentless in highlighting the problems with NGR and the need for an inquiry, quite rightly points out that it is important to establish exactly what went wrong. Southeast Queensland will require up to another 50 trains – on top of the 75 already ordered – to meet future commuter needs, and it is vital that similar mistakes are avoided.

This case also spotlights a broader issue.

Making his decision, Mr Newman said: "The Queensland public deserves to know the answers". How correct he is. Transparency and openness should be the default position for governments, sacrificed only where there is an overriding need to maintain secrecy – preferably tested by an independent party.

Unfortunately, the trend is very much in the opposite direction, with governments glibly stamping "commercial-in-confidence'' on arrangements. The spectacle of ministers simultaneously boasting about attracting companies, airlines, movie productions and any number of other initiatives to the state while refusing to detail what it took to get them here has become routine.

If a government genuinely believes that greasing the wheels with tax breaks, incentives or straight handouts is in the public interest, it should be willing to make its case, defend it and be judged on it.

Likewise, it is a small price for companies taking taxpayer funds to have it on the public record.

Several councils have set up specific business development or enterprise "companies'' – often to do the same work councils traditionally did – to shield their operations from prying public eyes.

Another example of this Government's allergy to transparency is the Premier's insistence that the media laboriously go through multiple RTI requests to obtain 600 public records contained in her Minister Mark Bailey's private email account – documents she could simply release.

An entrenched "none of your business'' attitude towards those who elect them can only further erode the declining trust in politicians.

Emphasis mine ..  :P
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HappyTrainGuy

Quote from: BrizCommuter on June 07, 2018, 09:22:59 AM
Quote from: ozbob on June 07, 2018, 08:30:40 AM
Quote from: bretto82 on June 07, 2018, 06:41:42 AM
Another thing I just thought of was the lnp keep saying red changed the design of the cabs for the guards but if they did not have the functionality for the guard to be there they would have never been able to run until the whole network was doo and the office of the rail safety regulator signed off on doo just another bit to think of

Yo bretto
The fact that the NGRs were designed as DOO does indeed need some rational explanation.  ???
...and there is a lot more behind that story that needs to come out.  Privatisation by stealth?

Stealth? Its been going on since 2004.

#Metro

Auditor General should be involved and perhaps staff from Deutche Bahn or TransPerth to provide technical counsel.

AG is good because it is an offence to obstruct the AG in the exercise of a power.
Negative people... have a problem for every solution. Posts are commentary and are not necessarily endorsed by RAIL Back on Track or its members.


ozbob

On the 2nd March 2017 we formally requested the Auditor General to look at the NGR project and other matters.

Here is an extract of the letter of request re NGR

QuoteNew Generation Rolling stock

NGR trains represent the largest single investment in Queensland in trains and is worth $4.4 billion over 32 years. These trains are particularly important for the realisation of the Cross River Rail project.

Unfortunately, after 12 months of testing these trains are riddled with design issues and flaws requiring expensive modification. Such flaws include the lack of a space for a guard, modification required at 143 QR train stations to permit driver line-of-sight, problems with air conditioning and concerns about train braking rates, among others. Significantly, the trains are disability non-compliant and are thus the subject of a petition by Australian Paralympic athlete Geoff Trappett OAM.

RAIL Back on Track wants to know who is responsible for this expensive fiasco and delay that is impacting the people of Queensland. We are aware that despite the trains being manufactured in India, the train design work was performed in Milton, Brisbane. A key part of any investigation will thus be securing a copy of the train design files. This will reveal whether the Queensland Government approved design was disability non-compliant to begin with, or whether the design requested was compliant but not adhered to at the factory end.
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#Metro

Negative people... have a problem for every solution. Posts are commentary and are not necessarily endorsed by RAIL Back on Track or its members.

ozbob

Quote from: #Metro on June 07, 2018, 19:14:59 PM
Just resubmit it to the AG, lol!!

Recent events show how facile the Government and its bureaucracies are hey?

Requesting yet again an audit by the QAG was part of our NGR Public Inquiry plan I can now reveal.  I have said, many times in the past, that if the State of Queensland failed in their application to the AHRC (which has happened) we would do that, i.e. resubmit a request to the QAG to examine forensically the NGR project, both in terms of finance and process. 

I will now wait for a couple of weeks to see if the Government will move forward.  If not, we will request (again) that QAG examine the project.  I believe it would be difficult for the QAG to turn us down this time.

Hey Government, the ball is well and truly in your court!

:is-

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