Premier steps in to ensure commuters get their trains back
UPDATE: Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk stepped in to ensure that the Ipswich-Rosewood rail line will start running again this weekend.
For a month commuters on the line have been inconvenienced and forced to use public buses, with the longer travel times and difficulties for those with mobility scooters being reported regularly by the QT.
Ms Palaszczuk visited Rosewood recently where she met locals in the street who told her about the issues on the line they were facing.
One resident in particular struck a chord with the Premier.
"While I was visiting Rosewood recently, I was talking to a man who explained to me what a major issue this was for him and local commuters," Ms Palaszczuk told the QT.
"I was adamant we would fix this so commuters were not disadvantaged travelling each day on the public transport network.
"As soon as I left Rosewood, I called the Transport Minister (Stirling Hinchliffe) and told him we needed to fix this.
"We needed to make sure people in Rosewood had access to regular public transport."
Ms Palaszczuk said she was delighted that the service would now be up and running again.
"This is good news for the community of Rosewood and I am pleased we were able to get a great outcome."
EARLIER: There is great news for long suffering commuters with the Ipswich-Rosewood rail line back up and running this weekend.
Buses had been running on weekends on the line since November 12 and 13 and commuters had been up in arms about the extra time taken to travel.
There were also issues for those with large mobility scooters.
A concerted campaign led by Cr David Pahlke, Ipswich West MP Jim Madden, public transport advocate Robert Dow and residents who contacted the QT has achieved a positive result.
"The great thing is that the rail service is back, not just for a certain period of time, but it will now stay there," Mr Madden told the QT.
"I've been hammering away at QR and emailing the Minister's office after I'd said I was wanting the service back up and running by this weekend at the latest.
"This is a great result for everyone.
"I'd like to thank Robert Dow and (acting editor) Andrew Korner at the QT for backing the campaign.
"Keeping the media attention on this has helped me in my negotiations with QR, Translink and the Minister.
"My understanding from QR has been that this was a staffing issue and that there was a shortage of drivers and guards.
"But now I have been told by the office of the Minister (Stirling Hinchliffe) that service will resume I can only assume they have sorted out the staffing problems."
Cr Pahlke, who had been a prime mover in sticking up for his residents and keeping the heat on the State Government, thanked Mr Madden.
"I congratulate Jim Madden. On this issue he has done what a local member should and gone into bat for the community he represents," Cr Pahlke said.
Mr Hinchliffe has copped plenty of heat for a series of train service debacles in Brisbane and Ipswich, but Mr Madden said he had been supportive of the need to solve the problems on the Ipswich-Rosewood line.
Mr Madden said residents along the line would be relieved their trains were back.
"It means the return of hourly services in both directions of travel just in time for local residents to finish their Christmas shopping and to catch up with family and friends for the festive season," he said.