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Former Queensland Rail (QR) chief operating officer Kevin Wright says he was made a "scapegoat" for the network's train woes in the past year.
A driver shortage left the network plagued with cancellations, prompting the Queensland Government to order an inquiry into the south-east Queensland rail system.
Speaking to ABC Radio Brisbane, Mr Wright said he told the State Government the issues could have been fixed with a new timetable if the unions had worked with them.
"I think that I was a scapegoat for something that could have been fixed, had the right people taken action to listen to how it could have been put back on track again," he said.
"I resigned as they weren't going to go back to the existing enterprise agreement and the standard rostering practises outlined in that agreement.
"We could have fixed the problem virtually straight away."
However, the Strachan Inquiry found emerging train crew risks were not resolutely acted upon by Mr Wright.
"First, in the commission's view, the chief operating officer did not seek sufficient confirmation of the adequacy of train crew supply," the report said.
"Second, the chief operating officer did not address the lack of long-term planning capacity in Train Service Delivery.
"Third, the chief operating officer's team lacked sufficient stability of leadership.
"Fourth, the chief operating officer did not report to the chief executive officer and board the risk of a train crew shortfall as it emerged."
Government says network has improvedThe State Government rejected Mr Wright's criticism.
A government spokesman said QR had worked hard to stabilise operations, with peak on-time running now at more than 94 per cent and cancellations significantly reduced.
"The Palaszczuk Government will continue to work with QR as we implement all of the recommendations of the Strachan Commission of Inquiry including commencing full external recruitment.
"QR has worked hard to stabilise operations and deliver a number of improvements in key areas, including returning peak on-time running to more than 94 per cent and significantly decreasing service cancellations.
"We have recruited more than 100 trainee drivers and 260 trainee guards, and 35 drivers and 96 guards are now fully qualified and working out on the network."
However, Opposition transport spokesman Andrew Powell said the Labor Government was solely to blame for the rail problems.
"Kevin Wright's admission today that the Palaszczuk Government could have fixed the timetabling problems 'straight away' if the unions weren't calling the shots is an indictment on the Labor Party and their union masters," he said.
The rail crisis brought about the end of Mr Wright's career — a move he was disappointed with after 52 years in the industry.
"It's a shame that it wasn't a good way to retire but I've put that behind myself now," he said.
This article first appeared on www.abc.net.au
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