Railway chiefs’ bonus pay axed
DEPUTY Premier Jackie Trad has stepped in to end the gravy train at problem-plagued Queensland Rail – ordering the axing of tens of thousands of dollars in executive bonuses.
Ms Trad yesterday confirmed the beleaguered rail operator’s bosses would miss out on generous performance bonuses as the transport body battles to recover from a crippling driver shortage.
It comes a year after the inception of the “rail fail”, which led to the sudden cancellation of hundreds of services and forced the introduction of a heavily scaled-back rail timetable. The decision to freeze bonuses follows criticism last year of a $77,000 performance payment awarded to QR’s former chief operating officer Kevin Wright at the height of the rail dramas.
Mr Wright resigned just two months later after another rail meltdown on Christmas Day.
Ms Trad (pictured), whose portfolio includes transpo r t , yesterday said she and the QR board had ruled out any bonus- es being awarded for the performance of executives in the 2016-17 financial year. The bonuses would ordinarily hit executives’ bank accounts sometime this month.
QR shelled out $286,000 in executive bonuses in 2016, according to its annual report.
Its then chief executive officer Helen Gluer earned a total pay of $735,000 in 2015-16. Ms Gluer resigned amid the mass service cancellations last October, with the latest annual report showing she was paid $519,000 that financial year when factoring in long service leave.
Executive bonuses have traditionally been tied to meeting targets, such as running trains on time.
As revealed by The Sunday Mail last month, services counted as running on time in official statistics include allstation train services suddenly switched to run express to avoid running late.
QR documents reveal the practice was questioned internally, but defended by QR executives. A TransLink spokesman also defended the practice, saying the number of services that skipped stations equated to 0.08 per cent of services in July this year.