An experienced Chief Executive Officer has been appointed to lead Queensland Rail.

Deputy Premier and Transport Minister, Jackie Trad, confirmed that Nick Easy – the former CEO of the Port of Melbourne and with a track record of driving cultural and operational change – has been appointed in the role of CEO following endorsement from the Queensland Rail board.

“The Palaszczuk Government has a plan to put Queensland Rail back on a path to better services and working with Nick as the new CEO we will fix the trains,” Ms Trad said.

“Nick’s experience leading two other a major statutory authorities and managing stakeholders will help him drive reform, modernise Queensland Rail and implement the recommendations from the Strachan Inquiry.”

Ms Trad said Mr Easy has experience delivering major projects and his strong, strategic management approach will help restore public confidence in Queensland Rail.

“Nick is a strong leader who has a proven track record overhauling management and leading operational and cultural change,” Ms Trad said.

“I look forward to working with him, the Board, and the Head of the Citytrain Rail Unit to get Queensland Rail back on track.”

Queensland Rail Board Chair, Phillip Strachan, welcomed Mr Easy’s appointment and said he had the skills to implement a strong recovery program.

“Nick is renowned for being an effective CEO and the Board has full confidence that he will improve Queensland Rail’s culture, maintain an effective oversight of operations and overhaul the organisation’s approach to risk management,” Mr Strachan said.

Mr Strachan also thanked Neil Scales for acting as CEO for the past four months.

“On behalf of the Board I would like to thank Neil Scales for taking on the role of CEO at time major challenge for the business,” Mr Strachan said.

“He has successfully laid the foundations for the transformation of the business and we look forward to his continued support as he returns to his former role at the Department of Transport and Main Roads.”

Mr Easy, whose career spans more than 27 years, will bring a wealth of management experience to the role. He was previously CEO of the Port of Melbourne, Australia’s largest container and general cargo port, where he managed $10 billion of land and sea assets.

Mr Easy served as the CEO of the Metropolitan Fire and Emergency Services Board from June 2011 until February 2014 and was responsible for leading the 2,200 strong organisation through a period of sector reform.

Mr Easy will commence as CEO of Queensland Rail on 3 April 2017.

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