Australia Government passes laws to outsource Qld rail services

Australia Government passes laws to outsource Qld rail services : The State Government has passed laws that change Queensland Rail from a Government-owned corporation to a statutory authority.

The organisation will now be known as the Queensland Rail Transit Authority (QRTA).

Transport Minister Scott Emerson says the changes will allow the Government to restructure Queensland Rail (QR) and outsource services.

The State Government is planning to allow other companies to tender for long-distance and city services, as well as maintenance.

But Mr Emerson says passenger rail services will not be outsourced if the public sector can run them efficiently.

“I want Queensland Rail to continue to improve – I want them to improve their services, I want them to improve their frequency, I want them to improve their reliability – that’s our aim for the first part of that,” he said.

“Then we’ll compare them to the private sector – my hope is that Queensland Rail is performing so well they’ll be outperforming the private sector.”

He says changes to Queensland Rail will make it more efficient and cheaper to run.

“Passage of this Bill represents a significant first step in reforming Queensland Rail, so it delivers improved rail services,” he said.

“This is part of the Newman Government’s plan to make public transport more affordable, reliable, and improve the public transport experience.

“In the longer term, this change will give Queensland Rail Transit Authority sufficient ability to adapt to future initiatives and the needs of the growing state.

“This is an exciting time for Queensland Rail.”

But Opposition transport spokeswoman Jackie Trad told the House the Bill is a step towards privatisation.

“What it all boils down to Mr Deputy Speaker is that services, once publicly provided, will now be provided by private entities operating to make a profit,” she said.

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Source : ABC

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