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The former Port of Melbourne boss Nick Easy, who swapped ships for trains as the new head of Queensland Rail, is on a mission to transform the organisation and get it back on track
How will the 100-day plan improve customer confidence in Queensland Rail?
On 8 March the ‘Fixing the Trains’ plan
was released by the Deputy Premier.
In addition to implementation of the 36 recommendations in the Strachan Report, a strong commitment has been made to deliver better services for customers. This includes a focus on restoring reliable on-time rail services, delivering excellence in customer service and providing cleaner, safer trains and stations. While these actions will be implemented within the first 100 days, that is not the end of it. They must be maintained and improved over time in response to feedback from customers and our level of performance. This proactive approach with real, on the ground changes should build more confidence in the community in the delivery of rail services by Queensland Rail.
How much longer do you think it will take to transform the culture so this sort of management failure isn’t repeated?
The culture of Queensland Rail will be transformed so that the customer is first and at the centre of everything we do. Culture is built over a long period of time, is led from the top of the organisation, and the process has started to ensure Queensland Rail is a modern, world-class rail service. The transformation program will be delivered in three stages; stabilise, recover and transform. Each of these stages will drive cultural change and deliver a more integrated public transport structure for Queensland.
You’ve spent your career in Victoria, what made you apply for the job?
I have worked in Victoria for 27 years in a number of organisations that play an important role in the community and the State economy. Queensland Rail is a natural extension of this given the significant role its services play in the lives of Queenslanders and in connecting communities. I was attracted to the role because of its significance to Queensland, the diversity of the organisation, its assets and services, and the challenge of creating a sustainable entity.
You finished up with the Port of Melbourne about five months ago. What have you been up to in that time?
I have enjoyed a good break, spent time with my family and friends, and enjoyed some overseas travel.
Do you think this is the toughest job of your career? And how does it compare with other challenges you have faced at the Port of Melbourne and Victoria’s Metropolitan Fire and Emergency Service Board?
Every job has its challenges and requires your full attention and commitment. I am looking forward to leading Queensland Rail, working with the Government, board, staff and stakeholders to transform the organisation and ensure that the community is proud of its rail service. It will take some time and I want to get it right. This will involve change and a commitment to do what is best for the Queensland community.
What’s the most surprising thing you’ve discovered about Queensland?
It’s still early days for me and I have travelled here a few times over the years. I think what is great about Queensland is the climate, the outdoors and the proximity to some wonderful beaches, islands and rainforests.
What’s something people would be surprised to know about you?
Most people are surprised when I say I have four children, all boys between the age of 17 and 20. I have a blended family and with four boys all at this age, people’s surprise soon turns into admiration.
When did you last catch the train?
I have travelled recently on several trains on the southeast Queensland network including the Redcliffe Peninsula, Sunshine Coast, Airport and Cleveland lines. I look forward to travelling on the remaining lines.
Is your whole family moving to Queensland with you?
I will move to Queensland initially with my wife to follow at a later time. My children are settled in Melbourne and will remain there.
What do you do to unwind? Do you have any hobbies?
I like to enjoy the company of family and friends, the outdoors and travel.
Do you have a favourite holiday destination?
There are so many amazing holiday destinations. I travelled to New Zealand late last year and found it to be an incredibly beautiful place where you are blessed with inspiring panoramas of mountains and lakes. The location, only a short distance away, is definitely a favourite with good food, wine and so many things to do.
This article first appeared on www.couriermail.com.au
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