An Australian rail signalling expert has been appointed to lead the investigation into signalling problems that have delayed Queensland’s Moreton Bay Rail Link (MBRL) Project.

Minister for Transport Stirling Hinchliffe announced Rob Smith, currently contracted to the $20 billion Sydney Metro Northwest Project, would audit the procurement and governance of the signalling system for MBRL.

“Mr Smith is eminently qualified to examine the MBRL project and has more than 20 years of experience in design and project management for rail systems,” Mr Hinchliffe said.

“Mr Smith specialises in delivering rail signalling systems and his extensive knowledge will be extremely beneficial to the audit and ensure we can get to the bottom of why the signalling system currently installed does not meet the operational and safety standards found across South East Queensland’s rail network.”

Mr Hinchliffe recently announced the independent audit of the signalling system after receiving advice from Queensland Rail about outstanding issues for the rail infrastructure project.

“The audit will investigate the governance and contractual processes for the signalling system and its performance and integration during design and construction,” Mr Hinchliffe said.

“Ultimately this audit will determine how the signalling system was selected and why the project cannot be delivered within the expected timeframe.

“This review will run separately to the work being undertaken by Queensland Rail into the requirements of the signalling system in order for Moreton Bay Rail Link to open.”

The Department of Transport and Main Roads, Queensland Rail and other parties will provide relevant documents as requested for the audit.

Mr Smith will lead a team of rail experts to prepare the audit, with final reports handed to the Minister for Transport by the end of July 2016.

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