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Author Topic: Article: Queensland Rail spends $88,000 on gravy train for MPs, chiefs  (Read 1327 times)

Online ozbob

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From the Courier Mail click here!

Queensland Rail spends $88,000 on gravy train for MPs, chiefs

Quote
Queensland Rail spends $88,000 on gravy train for MPs, chiefs
Article from: The Courier-Mail

Ursula Heger

April 28, 2009 12:00am

QUEENSLAND Rail has gifted more than $88,000 in travel, including first-class seats, to former QR chiefs, MPs and partners in the past two years.

The Courier-Mail has learned more than 60 former executive general managers and 177 current and former parliamentarians and their spouses have Gold Pass access to the state's rail network, allowing free travel ? including luxury sleeping berths on long-haul services ? for life.

In the past two years, the MPs and their partners each spent an average of $209 a year using their free rail passes, while former QR's executives and their spouses racked up an average of $116 each.

The 143-year-old company now also gives free rail travel, including first-class seats, to employees with 25 years' or more service and their families. Staff who retired before 1998 had to serve 30 years to get the entitlement.

QR refused to release information on how many current and former employees were entitled to free travel for long service, saying the information was not readily available and would take considerable time to research.

It is believed they number in the thousands.

A statement released by QR said current chief executive Lance Hockridge had not approved Gold Passes to executive general managers since he started in 2007.

"The Railways of Australia Gold Pass is issued to senior executive managers and their partners as nominated by the chief executive officer," the statement said.

"In respect to parliamentarians, QR does not decide on who receives the Gold Pass.

"It is an entitlement of parliamentary service."

Commuter advocacy group Rail Back on Track spokesman Robert Dow said the free rail travel for life deal was outdated and should be reviewed.

"Why should parliamentarians have a Gold Pass? They are well remunerated when they are in Parliament and it seems like they are just getting one thing after another," Mr Dow said.

"It's outdated. These sort of free perks are unacceptable in today's society."

Opposition transport spokeswoman Fiona Simpson said QR should release full details of the free travel given to employees.

"Any scheme involving subsidised public transport should be a matter of public record," Ms Simpson said.
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Offline ButFli

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No offence, but

Is this actually costing QR any real money? How often are the first class sections of QR trains booked out? How many of these free-riding politicians could have been replaced with a fare paying passenger? If the seats would otherwise have gone empty then there is no significant cost to QR or the Queensland taxpayer.

The CM should do an article about how much it costs the QR to transport the average full-fare-paying passenger. It would be shocking I am sure.

Online ozbob

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If the seats would otherwise have gone empty then there is no significant cost to QR or the Queensland taxpayer.

Interesting you should say that ButFli, every time we have raised the possibility of free travel for seniors on Sunday using the space that is available (no real costs) TL always come back and say it costs money.  Using that argument then the loss in revenue is real from these passes  (from a TL perspective ...  ;) )

Personally I don't have a problem with QR employees getting free rail travel during employment or as a long service entitlement on retirement.  Their travel options are sensible.  The GOLD pass for politicians though is a different kettle of fish.  For two, unlimited first class rail travel is bit of a perk.  It is an historical oddity, meant something once when the conditions of employment of politicians was a lot different and rail was the means of travel.  These days, federal politicians with certain qualifications now get a gold pass for them and partner for 1st class air travel.  A considerable drain on the public purse. I expect this Gold pass for rail will be phased out in time, and I hope the air passes as well.

 8)
« Last Edit: April 28, 2009, 02:10:50 PM by ozbob »
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Offline ButFli

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FT4SOS would cost TL money because the Seniors that otherwise pay for a ticket would travel for free.

You can't tell me that a politician would travel by rail if they had to pay out of their own pocket.

 

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