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Commission of Inquiry New Generation Rollingstock Trains

Started by ozbob, July 24, 2018, 16:42:22 PM

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ozbob

Couriermail --> Inquiry into botched delivery of new trains could end in lawsuit

QuoteAN INQUIRY into the State Government's botched delivery of new trains worth $4.4 billion could end in a lawsuit.

Commissioner, retired judge Michael Forde said yesterday that his four-month inquiry into the project's flaws found no evidence that successive ministers or top officials had been told the train design was illegal.

But he said the inquiry exposed a lack of consultation with the disability sector.

The design issues were not raised with Transport Director-General Neil Scales until 2016 – three years after the contract for 75 new trains was signed by a public-private ­consortium led by manufacturer Bombardier.

Mr Forde flagged potential legal action between the project consortium Qtectic, which includes the Government, and Bombardier, saying, "I don't think it's resolved yet".

"It could lead to litigation. They are working through some major issues as to who is going to build what, when," he said.

Mr Forde handed his final report to Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk yesterday after winding up the inquiry into how the trains were ordered with toilets and aisles that ­contravened the Disability Discrimination Act.

It led to the state copping a bill of at least $150 million to rectify the issues.

The report will go to Cabinet on Monday and is expected to be released after that.

"There's no evidence that any of these problems were brought up in any formal way on any of the documents we had whereby the D-Gs were aware of it," Mr Forde said.

"There's a suggestion from middle management that they did, but when you look at all the minutes, it's not there.

"They say it was mentioned at meetings, but given the denials of the Directors-General and the documents we have, the problem occurred at middle management level.

"There were issues raised, but not the ones we were dealing with on disability (access)."

The procurement process was hit by multiple disruptions. The project was passed from Queensland Rail, to Projects Queensland and then to the Transport Department, along with a change of Government to the LNP in 2012 and back to Labor in 2015.

"Once (Transport and Main Roads department) took it over you had this tension, as it were, between QR and TMR which didn't point towards what I would describe as a cooperative (relationship)," Mr Forde said.

He said there were alternative ways the state could have met the disability legislation requirements, but representatives hadn't put their minds to it.
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Interview with the Commissioner COI NGR Retired District Court Judge Michael Forde on ABC Radio Brisbane with Steve Austin 3rd December 2018.

Here > https://backontrack.org/docs/abcbris/abcbris_mf3dec18.mp3  MP3 21 MB
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Interview on ABC Radio Brisbane Breakfast with Geoff Trappett OAM Inclusion Moves and Rebecca Levingston and Craig Zonca
4th December 2018

Here > https://backontrack.org/docs/abcbris/abcbris_gt4dec18.mp3 MP3 8.7 MB
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SABB

The following opinion comes via a QR colleague who has a small role in bringing the NGR trains into service.  The original QR spec for the NGR trains included the DDA requirements. While my colleague hasn't seen the final TMR spec, he believes that the DDA spec was not amended by TMR. So, how did we end up with non-compliant trains and why isn't the contractor responsible for fixing them.  Government departments are full of risk averse micromanagers. TMR would be trying to pass all of the responsibilities onto the contractor. However, TMR would probably want to see and approve the design before manufacture. What this does is to take some of the responsibility back. My friend thinks that somewhere along the approval process, a drawing with the toilet and passageway dimensions for a standard gauge train was sent into TMR and approved. TMR, not being train designers, probably wouldn't have noticed the dimensional problems. The contract docs usually say that the contractor shall manufacture to the approved drawings.  My guess is that, when the error was discovered it was late in the design process and someone (probably in TMR) decided to alter the design to suit the narrower QR rolling stock gauge.

#Metro

Relatively easy to check IMHO.

The design files must be somewhere, and have a document control number.
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ozbob

Brisbanetimes --> Bosses were in the dark about Queensland's flawed trains: Report

QuoteA long-awaited report on Queensland's flawed new fleet of commuter trains suggests mid-level managers didn't tell their bosses about serious design problems.

Retired judge Michael Forde has handed his report to the Premier, and has flagged potential legal action after the state was lumbered with trains not fit for use by disabled passengers.

The report is yet to be publicly released but Mr Forde says top bosses appear have been kept in the dark about design flaws, including toilets and aisles that breached discrimination laws.

"There's no evidence that any of these problems were brought up in any formal way on any of the documents we had whereby the D-Gs (directors-general) were aware of it," Mr Forde told News Corp.

"There's a suggestion from middle management that they did, but when you look at all the minutes, it's not there. They say it was mentioned at meetings, but given the denials of the directors-general and the documents we have, the problem occurred at middle management level."

He said middle managers did raise other issues with the trains but not the ones that have left disability advocates fuming.

Queensland copped a bill of at least $150 million to fix problems with the trains, worth $4.4 billion.

Mr Forde flagged potential legal action between the project consortium Qtectic, which includes the government and train manufacturer Bombardier, saying: "I don't think it's resolved yet."

Labor and the Liberal National Party have been warring over who is to blame for the bungle, with the procurement and delivery phases of the project spanning three different governments.

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

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk was transport minister at the time the process was started.
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Rail Express --> NGR procurement hamstrung by bureaucracy: Forde

Quote
Successive governments made the procurement of Queensland's New Generation Rollingstock trains "too long" and "too disrupted", and issues were not properly communicated within government departments, the man in charge of the state's investigation has said.

Retired District Court judge Michael Forde presented his final report into the procurement of NGRs to the premier and minister for trade on Monday, December 3, having commenced a formal inquiry in August.

"The procurement process, in this case, was a disrupted one," Forde told ABC Brisbane ahead of the report being made public in coming days.

"It was disrupted because of the length of time it took," he continued. "It started in 2008, and first delivery of the rollingstock was in 2017.

"We had changes of government. We had changes to the structure of the scope of the work. We had changes to the nature of the relationship between the contracting parties, from an ordinary tender to a public private partnership, which has its own complications.

"And we had changes from who was running it – Queensland Rail, through to Projects Queensland, a Treasury group, and then Transport and Main Roads for the final aspects of it, and who are looking after the rectifications.

"So you had all those different permutations that amounted to what I would describe as a disrupted process."

Forde also said there was a "lack of leadership at certain levels of those responsible for the project," and said there was clearly tension between the various government departments involved in the $4.4 billion procurement, creating communication problems.

"By virtue of the change from Queensland Rail, to Projects Queensland, to TMR, it didn't exactly make for a harmonious, cooperative relationship between the various entities," he said.

"That contributed to some extent, [and] there was a failure to escalate the problems to higher levels of government.

"In house reports by independent people pointing out problems ... were not necessarily completely acted upon."

Bombardier attempted to comply with contract

The trains are being delivered by the consortium Qtectic, which includes manufacturer Bombardier Transportation. They are being modified by Downer in Maryborough to ensure toilet and passageway layouts comply with the latest accessibility standards.

While Bombardier has been the focus of a significant amount of media attention over the NGR issues, Forde said the manufacturer attempted to comply with the terms of its contract, but the length of time and number of departments involved in the project meant design issues were not properly managed or communicated by the state.

"Bombardier were attempting to comply with the contract they signed," he said.

Forde's statement confirms comments by Bombardier Transportation Australia boss Paul Brown, who told Rail Express earlier this year the manufacturer had delivered the trains defined by its contract.

"As we've always maintained there was a specification to build those trains, and Bombardier has delivered those trains within accordance with the contract," Brown told Rail Express in its AusRAIL edition.

"Despite the noise, the NGRs are delivering – and will continue to deliver – excellent services around the South East Queensland network. They've been absolutely fantastic."
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Interview on 4BC Drive with Geoff Trappett OAM Inclusion Moves and Mark Braybrook
4th December 2018

Here > https://backontrack.org/docs/4bc/4bcdrive_gt4dec18.mp3 MP3 11.1 MB
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Couriermail --> Train design changes under former LNP Transport boss added to project flaws

QuoteFORMER LNP Transport boss Michael Caltabiano was in charge when design changes were put forward to the state's troubled $4.4 billion new trains project, an inquiry has revealed.

Retired judge Michael Forde, who has led the four-month probe into the New Generation Rollingstock, said the design changes had been devised in 2012 under the then Transport Department director-general.

It involved replacing plans to hitch together two separate three-car train sets with six-car train sets.

The change opened the way for the removal of a second toilet on the trains, saving money.

But it created flow-on effects by contributing to the train design's failure to comply with legislation setting disability standards for public transport, according to Mr Forde, and alternatives access measures were not put in place.

"I don't think the consequences were known or explored," Mr Forde said.

"What that really showed was that there was a lack of consultation with the disability sector."

The six-car design was later adopted by cabinet, and manufacturer Bombardier won the work to deliver 75 new trains in December 2013 under a public-private partnership.

Mr Forde's said he found no evidence Mr Caltabiano or any other director-general or minister was formally advised that the train design breached disability access rules.

He said there was no evidence the issues were flagged above middle management.

Mr Caltabiano had a controversial and short stint as directopr-general. He was hired in 2012 then sacked in early 2013 after spending months on suspension over misconduct allegations involving the appointment of a senior departmental liaison officer.

Mr Caltabiano was later cleared of any wrongdoing by the state's corruption watchdog.

Attempts by The Courier-Mail to reach Mr Caltabiano for comment were unsuccessful, but the former Liberal Party state president told The Courier-Mail in July he did not believe the NGR design had been contemplated during his time in the job.

Disability advocate Geoff Trappett said the one-toilet-per-train decision added to issues, as it left one of the two carriages with seating for people who used mobility aides without a toilet.

And the aisle linking the two carriages was too narrow for wheelchairs.

Mr Trappett said the State Labor Government took 18 months to act on the issues after Transport director-general Neil Scales was made aware of the problems at a January 2016 meeting.

"What did they do in that 18 months?" he said.

The Government has estimated rectifications will cost at least $150 million. It will release the inquiry findings on Monday and declined to comment.

https://twitter.com/railbotforum/status/1069989082778894336
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Couriermail --> Inquiry into southeast Queensland rail system reveals flawed system

QuoteTHE almost complete failure of the rail system in Queensland, especially the greater metropolitan area in the state's southeast, has been laid bare.

The inquiry by retired judge Michael Forde has shown again and again that bureaucrats and politicians were either ignorant of or wilfully avoided inquiring about what was happening in respect of the 2013 contract for 75 new trains was signed by a public-private consortium led by the manufacturer Bombardier.

Mr Forde has now handed his report to Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk. Cabinet will now consider just how the new rolling stock was ordered from the manufacturer with toilets and passenger aisles that clearly contravened the Disability Discrimination Act – a failure which led to the state receiving an additional account of $150 million to fix these shortcomings.

The inquiry head has said the project consortium Qtectic, which includes the State Government and Bombardier, could still take legal action to resolve issues not yet settled. If there is further action taken, this already strung-out matter will carry on into 2019. The failure of all levels of the bureaucracy, the private company and the ministers to see what was going wrong is an indictment of this whole process.

Claims these matters were discussed and considered are not backed by any minutes or internal documents. We also have the extraordinary actions of former Transport director-general Michael Caltabiano – a one-time LNP member of Parliament – who changed the design of the train coming into service without any reference to the expert and without any knowledge of what his planned changes would mean.

Mr Forde concludes that even if the politicians and bureaucrats knew what was going wrong – that if they were aware of their own mistakes – they didn't seem interested or capable of looking for other ways to do things. These alternative approaches were available readily.

While this official inquiry has wound up and will now be hopefully acted upon, a new survey shows what we do have in our metropolitan train service is falling well short of public demands and requirements.

The annual Rail Back on Track survey reports half of all passengers are unhappy about frequency, including two in five, who say the performance is either poor or very poor. There might have been some improvement in the attitude of travellers, although it's possible this simply reflects a sullen resignation to the poor quality of the service and a belief that nothing is even going to get any better.

It is a wonder the Palaszczuk Government gets away with the poor excuse of a rail passenger service because on the basis of what is on offer, they do not deserve to.

https://twitter.com/railbotforum/status/1069990148685783040
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#96
Oh dear ...  :fp:

Couriermail --> Queensland Rail flagged design problems with trains in 2012

QuoteDISABILITY access flaws with the state's new $4.4 billion trains were known by project managers as early as April 2012, when plans were made for a new design with one less toilet.

A Commission of Inquiry into how the train's design breached disability access laws has delivered its findings to the State Government, which will release the report next week.

But The Courier-Mail can today reveal a briefing paper prepared for the New Generation Rollingstock project in April 19, 2012, by Queensland Rail flagged the design had a "non-compliant access path" under the Disability Discrimination Act between the two middle carriages, which have allocated disability seating and align with boarding points.

The paper showed a preference for one toilet for each six-car train, but it would mean just one of the two carriages designed for commuters with a disability had access to a toilet.

It continues that the access path between the carriages was non-compliant, leaving a ­person in a wheelchair who boarded the wrong carriage unable to access the toilet.

"A non-compliant access path between cars 3 and 4 may prove problematic for passengers who have difficulty ­traversing the access path, ­including parents trying to wheel prams/strollers, very large people or those with larger mobility devices," the briefing states.

Commissioner Michael Forde has told The Courier-Mail that there was no evidence politicians or successive directors-general were formally advised of the disability access issues.

The Government announced in September 2017 that it would spend $150 million fixing the flaws.

Some, now former Queensland Rail staff, used to refer to the NGRs as NOT GOING RIGHT trains when I was talking to them, this was around 2014, possibly a bit earlier.  So we have quite a history of bumble don't we?

:fp: :frs: :fp: :steam:
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Stillwater

So, what is happening in the week leading up to next Monday's Cabinet meeting?  Trad/Bailey will have considered a response to the stinking mess and will take a recommendation to Cabinet for endorsement.  It probably will go beyond just a $150m rectification program.  What's the timeframe for that -- it could be years? 

The annual RailBOT passenger survey has revealed the dismal sentiment of the travelling public, and they vote.  An inquiry has exposed serious flaws in the systems of government as they relate to administration of transport infrastructure, and rail infrastructure in particular.  The split of responsibilities between QR and TMR is an abject failure.  RailFail has become so much a part of the modern vernacular in SEQ that it should be a contender as a new word entry in the Macquarie Dictionary.  The media are now writing and broadcasting almost daily on this issue.

A comprehensive and cathartic change is required, but doubts linger as to whether this government is up for that.  Legal action is on the horizon, with coverage of the legal proceedings bringing prospects of further revelations of the failure of government.  RailFail has become a metaphor for the failure of government in Queensland -- and not just by one political party.  This mess has reduced the public's confidence in government.

The situation is toxic, and the government has allowed the situation to get this far by just 'drifting along'.  Successive Ministers seem to think that if they were not informed or told, then they were not to blame.  What prevents middle management, when fully aware of a grave issue, from informing those above of what they know?  What does that say about corporate culture in the Transport portfolio and wider afield in Projects Queensland and Treasury.  They all had a hand in this.

A root and branch renewal of the administration and funding of public transport and the provision of rail infrastructure in Queensland is required.  Certainly a huge apology is due to the disability sector for not listening and letting them down badly.  Camel hump platforms, guards at the back of trains, not in the middle, design disincentives that make it difficult for those in wheelchairs, or even mums pushing prams the Forde Inquiry now reveals, all show a patchwork of band-aid solutions that have compounded, not fixed, the situation.

Apologies and wishy-washy statements about 'government will now look at this report seriously'  or 'we can't say too much because there is possible legal action pending' just won't wash now.

Government must pick apart and restructure the provision of, and administration of, public transport in Queensland -- including integrating all forms of transport so we get a better system out of the resources and infrastructure we have.  And we should add to it with new lines and properly designed infrastructure.  And we must link land-use planning and transport in a meaningful way, so that places like the Ripley Valley are served by good transport. Visionary commitment is required around public transport links to places like the Sunshine Coast if we are to avoid congestion and impacts on liveability. Serious dollars need to be allocated.  And please, can we not have another report along the lines of 'Let's Get Queensland Moving -- a Transport Vision for 2075'.  Political point scoring along the lines of 'if only Canberra had funded CRR, that could have displaced state dollars into other projects' won't work either.  Trad/Bailey will be tempted to run that line.

This is not about politics.  It is about how a state economy functions.  SEQ is to become the worst location in Australia for traffic congestion, with huge impacts on business efficiency and people's lives.

Is this government up for it?  No.



ozbob

^ there is a chance that the COI report might suggest that a proper authority for PT be set up.  One never knows ...

There is little doubt that the present structures have failed, and failed badly. It is not only the botched NGRs, but rail fail, bus network reform failure, failed fare policy, RPL botched, Darra botched, cattle rail crates botched, timetables botched, on-time running fabrication, non-transparent data policies and so forth.   

The Minister is ' celebrating ' the conversion of 3 car peak services to 6 cars.  I saw a great response to one of his posts on twitter on this ...

' Don't celebrate mediocrity ' ...  a perfect line  :P
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STB

Weirdly I'm not that surprised by the reports coming in from the inquiry.  My time working in the transport industry, namely TransLink under TMR (2005-2008) and the TransLink Transit Authority (2008-2009), and Queensland Rail (2009), there was a lot of secrecy and distrust between departments.  At QR, I found out that the supervisors and middle management had a cultural distrust of TransLink and vice versa, each department wanted to do their own thing without informing correctly or effectively between departments.

Although I don't think it was as bad as when I first started working at TL given that the staff had a strong connection to the community at the time (remember when the actual Planners actually came out to events and community meetings to consult with the public?  Yes it did happen once upon a time!).  I did notice it certainly became more obvious and closed minded when Bligh came to power and restructured the public service at the time - we lost the entire infrastructure group out of TL at the time who were transferred to another section within TMR and TTA became it's own thing separate from TMR.  Certainly not helped by the Newman era either - I wasn't at TMR/QR/TL at the time Newman was involved, but I certainly would've thought with Michael Caltabiano was in charge, it doesn't surprise me that more direct political influence and cutting corners was undertaken and supported by the middle management and the staff on the ground at the time.

In saying that, I would not be surprised, in fact I'd strongly believe the Ministers at the time were not fully or correctly advised by TMR and QR.  I'm quite certain that since the ALP came back in, the various Ministers involved in the transport portfolio haven't been correctly advised or have had information withheld from them, which means that they cannot respond or make the right decisions.  A Minister is only as good as the Department and the advice they get from them.  So ultimately I think there needs to be a complete restructure of the public service and a lot of the dead wood and cultural secrecy washed out of the Qld public service IMO.  If I was the Minister, I'd dismiss the Director-Generals, restructure QR and TL to fall under one roof so to speak, and mandate frequent meetings with management and staff to ensure that two way communication is kept up.

By the way, one of the key reasons why I left the transport industry altogether in 2009 was due to being targeted by my supervisors and middle management at Qld Rail where I was bullied by them consistently for 9 months, they hated the idea that I came from TransLink and got the job because I knew the manager at the time, so did everything to drive me out of the organisation - and they succeeded!  Mind you though, leaving has led to better things nowadays, so in hindsight, I made the right decision to leave when I did.

red dragin

Quote from: STB on December 06, 2018, 06:56:42 AM
A Minister is only as good as the Department and the advice they get from them.

This is why I'm not always a fan of the Minister quiting when something goes wrong. They are often just the puppet whose strings are being pulled by the beaurcrats behind them.

Of course, if they lack the skill or gumption to question some of the BS they are fed, then boot them out.

ozbob

^^ thanks for your experiences STB.  Sad to hear about the bullying, but glad you moved on from it.

I am hopeful that out of all this mess will come improvement.  At least we will continue to try hard for it. 
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#Metro

Communication and systems are not responsible, people are.

What STB wrote makes this more clear. TMR should have its PT functions removed.
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techblitz

it's that weak bureaucratic culture...rampant pretty much nationwide.....which will see the phrase 'cost blowout' popularised more and more..

SABB

In my opinion, the public service started going downhill when managers were placed on time limited performance contracts. If you upset the boss with frank advice, your contract would not be renewed. I saw this happen many times.

ozbob

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Couriermail --> Cost-cutting move to remove toilets from trains to end in multimillion-dollar bill over disability access flaws.

QuoteA MULTIMILLION-dollar fix to the state's bungled new trains order is expected to be outlined today as Queenslanders find how design flaws breaching disability access laws came about.

The State Government has been examaning options to fix the $4.4 billion New Generation Rollingstock project flaws since September 2017 when the problems were revealed.

It then announced plans to solve the crisis by removing toilets from 40 NGR passenger trains and adding a second toilet to the remaining 35 trains on long distance services.

But The Courier-Mail can reveal an option put for forward by the disability sector to add a second toilet to all 75 NGR trains has since been under Government consideration.

It is yet to reveal the total cost of fixing the trains, which was first estimated at $150 million.

A report to be released today by the Commission of Inquiry into the NGR issues will reveal how an attempt to save money by slashing the number of toilets on board the trains in 2012 backfired by contributing to the disability access failings.

As revealed by The Courier-Mail last week, a briefing paper seen by the newspaper shows plans to change the design to six-car trains with just one toilet was under discussion by Queensland Rail as early as April 2012.

It was one less toilet than previously planned and meant one of the adjoining two carriages with designated seating for disabled people did not have a toilet.

And QR was aware the aisle linking the two carriages breached the Disability Discrimination Act as it was too narrow for people in wheelchairs, meaning that unlike other passengers, disabled people who boarded the wrong carriage could not reach the toilet.

But the design was put to the former LNP administration in 2012, under then Transport Department director-general Michael Caltabiano, and later adopted in the 2013 contract between the Government and the consortium led by train builder Bombardier.

Commissioner Michael Forde has criticised a "failure for genuine consultation with the disability groups" and told The Courier-Mail "both sides agreed to sign a contract that had terms which were non-compliant with the disability legislation."

Disability advocate Geoff Trappett said the sector only stumbled on the issues more than three and a half years after first flagged internally at QR. QR has refused to comment.

Mr Trappett, who was on the accessibility reference group, said no mention was made of the removal of the second toilet when it was initially shown a carriage mock-up in January 2016.

The mock-up then shown to the group featured a toilet.
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The Australian --> $5.3m to fix defective toilets and corridors on new trains

QuoteTaxpayers face being slugged millions of dollars for every toilet installed on Queensland's 35 newest passenger trains, as the bill to clean up the state's rail fiasco rockets towards $400 million.

Premier Annastacia Palas­z­czuk's cabinet will today consider the damning findings of an inquiry into the $4.4 billion New Generation Rollingstock trains, which had narrow corridors and inaccessible toilets that breached disability laws.

Although Labor has blamed the Liberal National government for ordering cheaper carriages from India, the report found the procurement process was undermined by erratic government under both parties.

During last year's state election campaign, Ms Palaszczuk instructed the NGR's lead contractor, Canadian company Bombardier, to ensure the trains were rectified at Downer Rail's workshops in the marginal Labor-held seat of Maryborough.

Retired judge Michael Forde, who led the inquiry, last week said the ongoing dispute between the government and the NGR consortium over the additional works could end in litigation.

The Australian understands the government has obtained legal advice through Crown law estimating taxpayers' liability to the consortium of about $250m. This is on top of an estimated $150m to modify the defective trains, sources said.

Transport Minister Mark Bailey declined to answer questions about the legal advice.

"Modifications to improve the NGR trains' accessibility required redesign work and collaboration with key stakeholders, including the disabled," he said. "We are in negotiations over the commercial requirements to do this work with the Qtectic consortium now."

The NGR's original design included toilets on each of the 75 trains. However only 35 trains will have toilets after the refit, with the remaining 40 trains confined to suburban routes. Other modifications include changes to the train guard compartments.

If the blunder costs taxpayers $400m, it would equate to more than $5.3m per train.

Mr Bailey, whose government has imposed a contentious "Buy Queensland" procurement policy, insisted it was "more cost effective and efficient" to modify the trains locally.

"We make no apologies for bringing this work back to Queensland and to Maryborough — a city with a proud rail history," Mr Bailey said.

"The Palaszczuk government will ensure new rail manufacturing and retrofit contracts are carried out by Queensland workers."

Mr Forde's report criticised the "disrupted" procurement process that started in 2008 under Labor's Anna Bligh and continued under Campbell Newman's LNP, which announced Bombardier as the winning contractor in 2015. The project started with Queensland Rail but was later transferred to Projects Queensland, then state Treasury and finally to Transport and Main Roads. This fomented tensions and poor communication between the different agencies, according to Mr Forde.

The inquiry found no evidence that ministers or senior public servants were warned in advance that the trains would be defective.

When the LNP announced the contract in January 2014, it said the half-price trains would be delivered "over the next five years" with "no hidden surprises for taxpayers". One month away from that deadline, only 37 of 75 NGR units are available for service.

Former Liberal MP Michael Caltabiano, director-general of transport when design changes were reportedly approved, declined to be interviewed.

Labor and the LNP blame each other for Downer withdrawing from the tender process in 2011. Downer has since said it was influenced by a similar deal with the NSW government which soured.
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Media release 10 December 2018

Queensland: Commission Of Inquiry New Generation Rollingstock

RAIL Back On Track (https://backontrack.org) a web based community support group for rail and public transport and an advocate for public transport passengers looks forward to the public release of the findings of the Commission of inquiry into the New Generation Rollingstock (COI NGR) Trains.

Robert Dow, Spokesman for RAIL Back On Track said:

"RAIL Back On Track became increasingly concerned with the NGR project from around July 2012.  Following the raising of concerns with accessibility issues with the NGR trains in 2015 we monitored the project very closely.  In March 2017 we subsequently made an application to the Queensland Auditor General (QAG) to audit the project such were our serious concerns.  This was declined by the QAG several months later. We constantly made repeated calls for an inquiry into the project.  These calls were essentially ignored by the Government.

"So on the 14th May 2018 we launched our own NGR Public Inquiry (1).  This in turn led to the Queensland State Government to establish the proper Commission of inquiry into the New Generation Rollingstock Trains (2, 3). We then suspended our own NGR Public Inquiry."

"RAIL Back On Track made several submissions to the AHRC, and a submission to the COI NGR.  Robert Dow Administration RAIL Back On Track was interviewed in person by the Commissioner as part of the COI proceedings."

"Our purpose in seeking an inquiry has been that unless there was a proper inquiry into the NGR project the failings will not be properly identified and the mistakes can and probably will occur again. This is very important as we have determined the State will need another 50 six car train sets (this is additional to the present order of 75 six car NGR trains) to meet the service requirements when Cross River Rail is completed in 2024."

"We also hope that the  full details of the DDA compliance rectification program for the NGR trains, including timelines and costs will be publicly released today."

References:

1. 14 May 2018: Queensland: New Generation Rollingstock Public Inquiry commenced
https://railbotforum.org/mbs/index.php?topic=13143.0

2. 23 July 2018: Statement: New Generation Rollingstock inquiry
http://statements.qld.gov.au/Statement/2018/7/23/new-generation-rollingstock-inquiry

3. Commission of inquiry into New Generation Rollingstock Trains
https://www.traininquiryngr.qld.gov.au/

Contact:

Robert Dow
Administration
admin@backontrack.org
RAIL Back On Track https://backontrack.org
Half baked projects, have long term consequences ...
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ozbob

Half baked projects, have long term consequences ...
Ozbob's Gallery Forum   Facebook  X  Threads  Mastodon  BlueSky

ozbob

Half baked projects, have long term consequences ...
Ozbob's Gallery Forum   Facebook  X  Threads  Mastodon  BlueSky

ozbob

Half baked projects, have long term consequences ...
Ozbob's Gallery Forum   Facebook  X  Threads  Mastodon  BlueSky

Stillwater

Let's hope this whole fiasco is examined by QR and TMR with a view to changing their public engagement processes and guidelines from one essentially focussed on 'talking at people' and trying to control things from the outset and steering towards a pre-conceived objective to a 'conversation with' model, where there is latitude for the engagement to be where people wish the focus to be, however uncomfortable that might be for those in charge.

ozbob

 :o

Couriermail --> Queensland Rail: Transport bosses knew about disability breaches

QuoteTRAIN builder Bombardier warned Transport department project managers overseeing the delivery of a new passenger train fleet that their design breached disability access rules back in 2012.

But the then Liberal National Party State Government signed off on the design under a $4.4 billion contract in December 2013 and added clauses to the contract to the effect it knew of the issues, according to evidence provided by Bombardier to a Commission of Inquiry into the project.

Bombardier has told the inquiry it made clear there were issues under the Disability Discrimination Act with rolling out the six-car trains with just one toilet on board.

As previously revealed by The Courier-Mail, the decision left one of the NGR carriages with designated seating without a toilet, and the pathway to the adjoining carriage with a toilet was too narrow for people in wheelchairs.

Queensland Rail was aware of the noncompliance issue in April 2012, but the design was put to Government under former LNP-appointed transport director-general Michael Caltabiano.

QR has refused to comment on its role in the project.

Its submission is confidential.

Mr Caltabiano did not return calls from The Courier-Mail.

A spokeswoman for Bombardier told The Courier-Mail today that throughout the tender process and prior to the contract being signed, Bombardier consulted with the Government and made it clear the proposed design would not be compliant, specifically with access pathways and toilets.

"This advice was incorporated into the final contract," she said.

"Bombardier built the trains in accordance with the specifications outlined in that contract.

"We believed that the final designs approved by the state reflected all of these considerations.

"However, we accept the state's decision to revise the design to further improve accessibility and we look forward to getting underway with this important work as soon as possible."

The Palaszczuk Government announced in September 2017 that it would rectify the trains by stripping toilets out of 40 trains and fitting two toilets in 35 trains on long-distance routes.

It then made an election commitment promising the rectification work would be subcontracted to a separate company, Downer EDI, at Maryborough during the 2017 election campaign.

The announcement by Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk came amid a union local jobs campaign in Maryborough and helped its MP Bruce Saunders fend off a challenge in the marginal seat.

However, the Government has since been considering a new plan to put two toilets on all 75 NGR trains and is expected to sign off on the final solution after Cabinet today.

It will also release the Commission of Inquiry findings by retired judge Michael Forde.

Mr Forde told The Courier-Mail that the inquiry found no evidence that knowledge of the disability access issues went beyond middle management to politicians and director-generals.

He revealed the probe found the project management was frustrated by multiple transfers between government departments and agencies, along with changes in Government leadership.

Former LNP Transport Minister Scott Emerson's submission to the inquiry was made public today.

"To the best of my recollection, an evaluation panel including representatives of Projects Queensland, TMR and Queensland Rail was established as part of the procurement," he says in the submission.

"There was also a technical panel which again included representatives of TMR and QR."

"These expert panels were established to ensure NGR trains met all current technical, functional and legislative requirements.

"I do not recall possible noncompliance with relevant disability legislation and regulations being flagged or discussed by the evaluation panel, Projects Queensland head Dave Stewart or TMR Director-General Neil Scales with me or the then government."
Half baked projects, have long term consequences ...
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