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Author Topic: Article: Transport boss Michael Caltabiano signals Queensland Rail shake-up  (Read 19415 times)

Online ozbob

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From the Couriermail click here!

Transport boss Michael Caltabiano signals Queensland Rail shake-up

Quote
Transport boss Michael Caltabiano signals Queensland Rail shake-up

    by: Robyn Ironside
    From: The Courier-Mail
    May 09, 2012 12:00AM

THE new boss of Transport and Main Roads has delivered a scathing assessment of Queensland Rail at an industry lunch, labelling the government-run organisation incompetent and inept.

Former Liberal MP Michael Caltabiano, now the Director-General of TMR, cut loose at the private boardroom lunch last Thursday, telling guests Queensland Rail was "badly run, badly structured and inept".

He also boasted QR was going to be "turned upside down" and Translink would have a much broader role in running transport statewide.

Mr Caltabiano's attack is the latest in a series of blows for QR which is still without a CEO after Paul Scurrah jumped ship to the privately owned QR National last November.

Yesterday The Courier-Mail revealed QR had spent $1.6million maintaining a disused rail line, and consumer confidence is yet to recover from two major network meltdowns this year.

Mr Caltabiano was yesterday unavailable to expand on his comments to the Committee for Economic Development of Australia, with Transport Minister Scott Emerson speaking for his D-G.

He said the State Government was yet to make any final decisions regarding the extent of savings across his portfolio.

"We are targeting waste across the entire portfolio including the department, Translink and Queensland Rail," Mr Emerson said.

"This involves meeting and reviewing the services provided by a wide range of transport groups and organisations."

Currently Translink co-ordinates transport services and timetables for southeast Queensland but is understood to be taking over the financial management of QR's struggling Traveltrain services.

Last year Translink was also handed responsibility for co-ordinating alternative transport in the event of track closures, a role previously handled by Queensland Rail.

Owen Doogan from the Rail, Tram and Bus Union said there was room for improvement at QR but he hoped Translink did not escape "very close examination".

"We believe the Translink bureaucracy has caused more problems for Queensland Rail and the Brisbane City Council and we believe the focus should be on them," Mr Doogan said.

"We understand Queensland Rail will be going through changes but some aspects of the organisation are run very well.

"Quite frankly at this point in time, we are concerned about the operation of Translink."

The Courier-Mail understands Mr Caltabiano has called a meeting for tomorrow to discuss his restructuring plans for the department and Queensland Rail.

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Online ozbob

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Time will tell.  Public Transport Queensland?

Get this wrong and they will not survive more than one term.  Putting major operators off side is counter productive.  The Newman administration is stamping itself as anti-rail, something which will prove very costly as time marches on.
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Offline #Metro

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Hopefully Toowoomba can be incorporated into the zone and CUT BCC!!
Negative people... have a problem for every solution.
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Offline Stillwater

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What does this do for morale within an organisation such as QR?  Maybe this announcement explains, to a degree, QR's reluctance to engage publicly on operational issues (next round of timetable changes) and to regard itself as being a mere service provider subject to the whims of Translink and DTMR.

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I note Caltabiano is being savaged on the CM blog.  Political hacks are never good choices IMHO.
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somebody

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Get this wrong and they will not survive more than one term. 
I think that is somewhat bold.

Hard to see ALP getting back in without the LNP doing something incredibly bad, and also hard to see PT swinging the next election.  Might happen in NSW/VIC but they get more PT market share.

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Time will tell ... :P
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Offline Gazza

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Get this wrong and they will not survive more than one term. 
I think that is somewhat bold.

Hard to see ALP getting back in without the LNP doing something incredibly bad, and also hard to see PT swinging the next election.  Might happen in NSW/VIC but they get more PT market share.
I think Simon has hit the nail on the head here.

Online ozbob

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Think what you will.  A failed transport policy throughout Queensland will bite hard electorally.  No doubt about that.

There is also the south-east Queensland electoral bias.  Congestion and gridlock is just getting worse.  Throw in rising fuel prices, it looks like the dollar is starting to fall and there are some major economic issues looming again in Europe.

I hope the LNP can get it properly organised, the fact remains if they don't they will get burnt.  If not completely next time, certainly the time thereafter.


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Online ozbob

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Hopefully there might be an indication later today as to what the ' restructure ' might be.

I am keen on a 'Public Transport Queensland' being formed which incorporates TransLink and runs all public transport in Queensland.  This will be a lot more cost efficient and effective than the multiple bureaucracies in TMR and elsewhere.  This is the Victorian model.
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Offline #Metro

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Quote
Former Liberal MP Michael Caltabiano, now the Director-General of TMR, cut loose at the private boardroom lunch last Thursday, telling guests Queensland Rail was "badly run, badly structured and inept".

He also boasted QR was going to be "turned upside down" and Translink would have a much broader role in running transport statewide.

So Michael Caltabiano arrived on scene and let fly a few naughty words. He wasn't particularly specific.

However, I tend to agree. Two staff per train = half the frequency. If we had one staff per train, that would be a 100 % improvement in efficiency, and you'd be able to fund DOUBLE the services that we have currently.

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Why revamp Translink's structure because we had an incompetent and obstructionist CEO until last year?

Offline #Metro

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Why not shake up Brisbane Transport... waste and inefficiency is totally off the scale there! Just look at all the legacy routing, duplicated management structures because the BCC won't let go of the bus operations, inventing their own services, bazillions of legacy routes...
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Offline SurfRail

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QR is still very much a closed shop free of world's best operational practice despite what they like to say about their performance.  The unions have a hand in a lot of that beyond what would be necessary to safeguard the safety and entitlements of workers.  Compare how long it takes to turn a train around in Queensland to the rest of the civilised world...

I'm encouraged that somebody has the guts to mention that QR is not perfect and could stand to see serious improvement.  Time will tell if they want to do anything constructive though.
Ride the G:

somebody

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QR is still very much a closed shop free of world's best operational practice despite what they like to say about their performance.  The unions have a hand in a lot of that beyond what would be necessary to safeguard the safety and entitlements of workers.  Compare how long it takes to turn a train around in Queensland to the rest of the civilised world...

I'm encouraged that somebody has the guts to mention that QR is not perfect and could stand to see serious improvement.  Time will tell if they want to do anything constructive though.
Indeed on a cost per passenger & cost per passenger-km I believe they perform even worse than Cityrail, and that is not easy!

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I note Caltabiano is being savaged on the CM blog.  Political hacks are never good choices IMHO.

Many agree.  Seems the public is confused as to who is the actual minister!  Premier Newman might have to reassess whether shoe-horning a party mate into the DGs' role was a wise move after all.

Yes Minister .... :mu:
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justanotheruser

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However, I tend to agree. Two staff per train = half the frequency. If we had one staff per train, that would be a 100 % improvement in efficiency, and you'd be able to fund DOUBLE the services that we have currently.
Sorry just to clarify is this your statement or was it a statement by the D-G?  i didn't see it in any articles I saw.

Offline BrizCommuter

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http://brizcommuter.blogspot.com.au/2012/05/if-qr-is-inept-what-is-translink.html
If QR is inept, then what is TransLink?


Online ozbob

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From the Couriermail click here!

Transport squabble a sign of new order

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Transport squabble a sign of new order

    by: Terry Sweetman
    From: The Courier-Mail
    May 11, 2012 12:00AM

STATE Transport Minister Scott Emerson is a nice man. Even his former colleagues in the not-always-fraternal journalism trade will attest to that.

So it was interesting to read between the lines this week when he appeared to put his high-profile director-general back in his box.

Michael Caltabiano - former city councillor, Liberal Party factional player, former opposition heavy, failed politician and now well-connected Transport and Main Roads DG - came out swinging, telling a bunch of industry suits that Queensland Rail was incompetent and inept.

And, he boasted, he would turn it upside down and give Translink a bigger role in running transport statewide.

That was a week ago but when his tough talk surfaced on Tuesday he was said to be unavailable to expand on his comments to the Committee for Economic Development of Australia.

It was left to Emerson to speak for his departmental underling and to leave me wondering if political and factional history could make Caltabiano a problematic appointment as a subordinate.

Mr Nice Guy was more measured in his comments, saying the State Government was yet to make any final decision regarding the extent of savings across his portfolio.

Then came the obligatory pledge to target waste and a routine kick at the Labor government, accompanied by a soothing promise of consultation and reviews of service provided by a range of transport groups and organisations.

The end result will probably be the same, but it's not hard to imagine that Caltabiano was flexing his pecs at an industry body-beautiful show and that Emerson was reclaiming his territory.

If he wasn't putting Caltabiano in his place, maybe he should have been.

Few would disagree that QR is incompetent and inept - and they're its good points - or argue that the DG isn't within his rights to turn it upside down, give it a good shake and throw out whatever he finds hidden in its darkest crevices.

It's just that we are seeing a new way of doing business under a new Government and it'll take some getting used to.

Caltabiano's predecessor, Dave Stewart, was pretty much low key, barely appearing in our newspaper files except as a bit player.

Elevated from Anna Bligh's Premier's Department, he had the great misfortune to serve under a bunch of lacklustre Labor transport ministers, culminating in the gloriously dizzy Rachel Nolan.

In those circumstances, you might understand why he had little to say, even though his experiences in Brisbane City Council and as a heavy-lifter in the $9 billion water grid project probably gave him at least as much cred as Caltabiano and infinitely more than his ministerial bosses.

However, nobody would ever accuse Caltabiano of undue modesty.

A profile on the departmental website speaks of his distinguished engineering career and a wealth of experience and knowledge.

Caltabiano couldn't have put it better himself.

But his chest-beating reflects widespread exasperation with our public service and quasi-government bureaucracies and fits into the grander philosophy of his ultimate boss, Premier Campbell Newman.

However, it remains to be seen whether a bigger and muscled-up Translink is the answer or the problem.

We can hope it's the former, but commuters who suffer on a daily basis would be entitled to their suspicions.

This a challenge for the Government, which in so many areas defined the problems but is yet to conclusively demonstrate it has found the answers, although the majority of people seem to think it has.

Its fall guy is the public service which, rightly or wrongly, is exceedingly light on friends in Queensland.

Newman's recent announcement that thousands of public servants on temporary contracts were to be axed was met with much approval (except from those clearing their desks).

It was an employment practice open to cronyism and an invitation to dodgy budgeting, but also provided a way to inject into the public service expertise or qualifications that didn't exist in the established ranks but were needed on a short-term or specific basis.

It seems entirely possible that some of those employed on temporary contracts would be better qualified and more highly motivated than some of those dozing away under the shelter of public service permanency.

This seems confirmed by the fact the Government is willing to make frontline staff exempt from its purge.

That the former government didn't convert their presumably valuable skills into permanent positions and sort the wheat from the staff is disgraceful. That the present Government risks arbitrarily losing their talents could be shortsighted.

To trim or put a cap on public service numbers is not in itself any guarantee of enhanced service, increased productivity or more efficiency. But, if it's any consolation, the Government won't be the first organisation to discover the risks of downsizing in pursuit of excellence.

Getting rid of people is the easy bit; getting rid of the right people is the tough part.

In the circumstances, the Government might welcome the diversion of a little creative tension at the interface of its ministerial and departmental wings.

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Offline Derwan

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Perhaps Mr Caltabiano should stick to what he's in charge of.

He is not in charge of QR and he is not in charge of TransLink.

He's acting more like a politician than a CEO (Director General).
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somebody

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Perhaps Mr Caltabiano should stick to what he's in charge of.

He is not in charge of QR and he is not in charge of TransLink.

He's acting more like a politician than a CEO (Director General).
Indeed.  It's not any of his concern as a DG about the performance of either Translink or QR, unless I'm missing something.

Offline Jonno

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Perhaps Mr Caltabiano should stick to what he's in charge of.

He is not in charge of QR and he is not in charge of TransLink.

He's acting more like a politician than a CEO (Director General).
Indeed.  It's not any of his concern as a DG about the performance of either Translink or QR, unless I'm missing something.

This is not the first case of the LNP's new DG's miss-understanding the reporting lines of GOC's and Statutory Authorities nor will it be the last. 

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From the Couriermail click here!

Transport squabble a sign of new order

Quote
Transport squabble a sign of new order

    by: Terry Sweetman
    From: The Courier-Mail
    May 11, 2012 12:00AM

Getting rid of people is the easy bit; getting rid of the right people is the tough part.
i saw a classic example of this in cityrail. They offered voluntary redundancies and one guy accepted. Cityrail was then left without anyone to operate a lift that took the garbage from the station to street level. Was also a delivery dock for several retailers including a supermarket all of which had extra money tagged onto their rent to pay for that service. oh how the garbage piled up!

somebody

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That sounds like union crap to me.

justanotheruser

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That sounds like union cr%p to me.
if your talking about what I said then in the end the railways paid the supermarket to operate the lift.  I had to help clear the rubbish (no I didn't work for the railways). The point is when you offer voluntary redundacies generally people who are confident of being able to get another job (read better employees) are the ones who leave while those who stay are the poor quality workers. of course there are those who don't consider it at all. Although I think the lift operator actually retired. one did need trainingto operate it and that is what the railways could not provide. Considering the lift could fit 3 tonne trucks in it it is clear it is not your average lift.

Offline Fares_Fair

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Article: Transport and Main Roads Director-General Michael Caltabiano goes on leave two months into job despite Campbell Newman's reform plan
From: The Courier-Mail
by Robyn Ironside
June 08, 2012 12:00AM

http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/transport-and-main-roads-director-general-michael-caltabiano-goes-on-leave-two-months-into-job-despite-campbell-newmans-reform-plan/story-e6freoof-1226388045220

Quote
FORGET the "long, quick, fast ride", one of the Newman Government's heavy hitters has already gone on holidays.
Two months into the job of overseeing one of Queensland's biggest departments, Transport and Main Roads Director-General Michael Caltabiano is on leave.

The former Liberal MP, who has instructed staff to address him as Mr Caltabiano rather than Michael, has taken three weeks off to holiday with his wife and two school-age daughters.

A spokesman for Transport and Main Roads Minister Scott Emerson said the holiday had been booked before Mr Caltabiano's appointment as D-G.

Shortly after his massive election victory, Campbell Newman indicated it would be an intensely busy first 100 days for his Government.

"Get on board, we're going for a long, quick, fast ride," he said.

"There will be changes, we do have a mandate for change. We're going to move at the greatest, fastest rate to implement change in Queensland.

"We make no apologies for that."

The Department of TMR is expected to face some of the biggest changes.

Mr Caltabiano told a private industry lunch last month that he planned to "turn Queensland Rail upside down".


He is also believed to be looking closely at Roadtek, the department's commercial business arm, which maintains the road network.

Mr Caltabiano, a civil engineer by profession, has already come under fire for being a political appointment by the Premier, who said he "expected criticism" for hiring his former Brisbane City Council chum.

Opposition Leader Annastacia Palaszczuk said nobody should begrudge someone a family holiday.

"But a month ago Mr Caltabiano was reported as boasting he was going to turn Queensland Rail upside down," Ms Palaszczuk said.

"Before he goes on holidays he might like to finally explain to QR employees what he meant and whether their jobs are safe."

DTMR employs more than 6000 people, many of them blue-collar workers at Roadtek.

The jobs of close to 1000 temporary workers are also believed to be at risk as the Government seeks to make substantial cost savings in the public service.

Mr Caltabiano is expected back at his desk by the end of the month.

Regards,
Fares_Fair


Online ozbob

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Couriermail --> Caltabiano's leave story digs deeper hole
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Offline wbj

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Well, it's not as though he has anything important to do at the moment that can't wait :P

Offline mufreight

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Well, it's not as though he has anything important to do at the moment that can't wait :P

Well with a bit of luck he might not come back but then we would simply get another LNP Campbell mate who is like Mr Caltabiano simply a number cruncher with an eye on the dollar (his salary) and little or no real interest in the provision of esential services or the infrastructure needed to provide them for the voters of this state.

Offline Stillwater

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Maybe a super-person like Mr Caltibiano needs a bit of R and R before begining his stated aim of 'turning QR upside-down'.

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Looks like we were incorrect.  Administration of the service contract with QR is indeed a TMR responsibility, and therefore within Mr Caltabiano's role.

Online ozbob

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Looks like we were incorrect.  Administration of the service contract with QR is indeed a TMR responsibility, and therefore within Mr Caltabiano's role.

You sure about that?  TransLink looks after the suburban stuff.  TMR looks after Travel Train, the intention is for TransLink to take on that as well.

TransLink has a Director of Rail to do that.
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somebody

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Looks like we were incorrect.  Administration of the service contract with QR is indeed a TMR responsibility, and therefore within Mr Caltabiano's role.

You sure about that?  TransLink looks after the suburban stuff.  TMR looks after Travel Train, the intention is for TransLink to take on that as well.

TransLink has a Director of Rail to do that.
Pretty sure.
TTA administers one act: Transport Operations (Translink Transit Authority) Act 2008, which states:
Quote
    16 Service contracts
    (1) TransLink does not have the power, in its own right, to enter
    into a contract that is, or is in the nature of, a service contract.
    (2) To remove any doubt, it is declared that subsection (1) does
    not prevent TransLink from entering into service contracts or
    performing functions or exercising powers relating to service
    contracts as the delegate of the TOPTA chief executive.
TMR administers the Transport Operations (Passenger Transport) Act 1994 which enables services contracts to be entered into.  Now, it is possible that TL have been delegated the authority to do so to someone or many people in TTA, but TMR are still responsible.  Such a delegation is very unlikely to be able to be delegated.

Online ozbob

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Must be delegated to TransLink, I know for a fact that TransLink administers the service contracts.



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But that still means that the DG of TMR is responsible, not the CEO of TTA.

Online ozbob

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But that still means that the DG of TMR is responsible, not the CEO of TTA.

Minister ...
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Offline mufreight

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Solve the problem, remove one level of bureauracy, shut down Translink.

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I don't see how Minister is more correct than the D-G.  You could equally argue Premier.

There is a chain: Premier->Minister->D-G

Solve the problem, remove one level of bureauracy, shut down Translink.
Why remove the semi-autonomous structure which is generally recognised as being world's best practice because it has a few limitations?  Just fix those limitations!

Online ozbob

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No Simon, the Minister is responsible in actual fact.

See --> http://www.qld.gov.au/about/how-government-works/structure-changes/assets/administrative-arrangements-order-no-4-2012.doc page 16  From http://www.qld.gov.au/about/how-government-works/structure-changes/

TransLink administers the service contracts and will be taking on TravelTrain (Queensland Rail Travel) as well I think.
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I think I have learned something today.  So the premier doesn't have the power to overrule the minister while they remain the minister then.  Hmm.

 

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