Emerson to hunt down those who damage rail infrastructure
QUEENSLAND Rail has raked in more than $300,000 over the past three years from motorists forced to cough up for damaging rail infrastructure with more than half collected since the LNP came to power.
But Transport Minister Scott Emerson makes no apologies for the hard pursuit for damages saying infrastructure incidents are a major inconvenience to public transport.
Transport and Main Roads figures show $305,428 has been recovered from motorists who have damaged infrastructure since 2010-2011.
More than $153,000 of that was collected between last July and April 5.
Some of the most recent cases included Queensland Rail recovering $13,700 after a vehicle rolled over near Quilpie and damaged 56 metres of track.
At Maryborough a trucking company had to pay up $3500 after a truck damaged rail equipment, including a boom gate.
"We have been pursuing individuals and companies who hit boom gates, who illegally cross rail property and do cause damage," Mr Emerson said.
"The reality is we will hunt you down, we will find you.
"If you think you have escaped and hit a boom gate and driven away, we will find you. There is often at these sites CCTV footage."
Mr Emerson said when he came into office last year, he felt the previous government had "dropped the ball".
"...that is why we have been very much focused on insuring that we do follow this up and take legal avenues in terms of pursuing these people," he said.
But the pool of damages received so far this year looks to grow significantly when a trucking company responsible for colliding with a train at level crossing in Brisbane, pays its hefty damage bill.
Transport and Main Roads delivered its report on Friday21/6 into the Banyo incident which threw Brisbane's city network into chaos last September.
The report found the truck driver did not have a permit to use St Vincent's Road level crossing, which it became wedged across.
Mr Emerson said Queensland Rail would purse the truck company's insurer, as the trucking company had gone into liquidation.
He said the amount of damages was yet to be determined but due to the nature of the crash, it was likely to be substantial.