Stirling Hinchliffe
Stirling Hinchliffe Brett Wortman

Hinchliffe 'must go' over rail report: Powell

SUNSHINE Coast MP Andrew Powell has renewed calls for Queensland's Transport Minister to be sacked amid claims he knew nothing of a report, prepared in January, warning rail bosses of a train driver shortage.

Stirling Hinchliffe told the Courier-Mail he only became aware of the report at 9.20pm on Monday after being asked about it by journalists.

It comes as dozens of train services have had to be cancelled following the opening of the Redcliffe Peninsula Line on October 4.

Both the chair and the chief executive of QR have resigned over the debacle.

The report was prepared by independent consultants Indec at the beginning of the year.

News reported that rail advocate Paul Pluta has obtained the report, which showed demand for drivers was potentially not being met from as early as July 2015 last year.

Indec's Train Service Delivery review raised serious concerns about how crew numbers would impact on the operation of Next Generation Rollingstock as well as Commonwealth Games services.

"Operational readiness for the integration of the NGR and the MBRL is at risk due to the demand this will place on the train crewing resources," the report states.

The report performed an analysis of the number of qualified drivers compared with what had been projected as the required supply and found shortfalls going all the way back to July last year.

But Mr Hinchcliffe says he was not aware of the report.

"To be clear, I was only provided with a draft version of this report this evening [Monday] at 9:20pm," he said.

"I understand this report was prepared in January and I am deeply concerned it was not provided to me by QR before now."

The matter has been referred to the independent investigation into QR train crewing practices.

Mr Powell said the Minister must go.

"Clearly the responsibility sits with the Minister," Mr Powell said.

"There is no way - no way that he can continue to blame his bureaucrats and QR for this rail crisis.

"He must resign or the Premier must sack him."

Mr Hinchliffe previously said he intended to stay in the job to "fix the mess".

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