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Speech – Translink New Timetable (16 February 2011)

Mr POWELL (Glass House–LNP) (9.46 pm): In November last year, Translink released a new draft timetable for the north coast rail service. Within minutes, my office was inundated with phone calls from disbelieving and devastated commuters. Everyone, me included, will acknowledge there are a few positives in the proposed timetable. The new early morning services out of Nambour at 5.10 and 5.38, which replace the current 5.26 am service, are welcomed by those who need to arrive in the CBD early, by 7.02 and 7.36 am respectively. The extension of the weekday Cooroy service to Gympie North also means that there are now two daily return services to Gympie North Monday to Friday. But the flow-on repercussions for the vast majority of the peak hour coast commuters have them begging that these new services be removed and the previous timetable restored, such is the disastrous nature of the proposed timetable. Let me detail their concerns.
By moving the morning inbound service that currently arrives in Central at 8.16 to an 8.26 arrival, it means an 8.30 am starter cannot get to work in time. By moving the morning inbound service that currently arrives in Central at 7.42 to an 8.02 arrival, it means an eight o’clock starter cannot get to work in time. By moving the 5.16 pm outbound Nambour service back to 5.04 pm, it means no 5 pm office worker can catch it. By moving the current outbound 5.43 service to 5.47, it means that there is now a three-quarters of an hour gap between this and the previous service.
 
Reducing the express pattern from 20 stations bypassed down to 13 on most services means longer commutes for those who travel furthest and by far the longest, with two peak services in each direction now only bypassing nine stations. Failing to schedule a Nambour service from Central each weeknight between 7.34 pm and 9.34 pm means there is a two-hour gap each and every night. And there is an ongoing failure to guarantee trains with toilets on all services north of Caboolture. Mr Speaker, a 10-minute movement in arrival or departure time may not seem much to you or to the minister, but to those commuters who have set starting and finishing hours of employment it can mean an additional hour on their day.
These individuals are already doing 12- or 13-hour days; under this draft timetable, it is 13 or 14. That is a crushing blow for the commuter and their family. As someone who, up until my election as the member for Glass House, did this four-hour commute from Palmwoods to the CBD nearly every day of every week, I know that hour can mean the difference between seeing your kids each day and not seeing them at all. Today an e-petition signed by 253 north coast commuters was tabled in this House calling on the Minister for Transport to preserve the existing timetable. Please, Minister, hear the devastated cries of those commuters. Revise the timetable so it does not disadvantage these people, your longest commuters

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