“This is our opportunity to start from scratch in terms of how the management works” … Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian. Photo: Edwina Pickles
THE entire top management team of RailCorp, including its chief executive, Rob Mason, will have to reapply for their jobs under the shake-up of the train system announced this week by the Transport Minister.
Gladys Berejiklian confirmed all senior positions would be spilled after she announced the eventual dissolution of RailCorp and the establishment of two new entities, Sydney Trains and NSW Trains.
The new structures will take 12 to 18 months to implement but when they are in place frontline and lower-graded workers will automatically be transferred to the new organisations. Senior positions, however, will be up for grabs, and executives from outside can appl
”This is our opportunity to start from scratch in terms of how the management works,” Ms Berejiklian told the Herald.
”I don’t want to bring the negative aspects of RailCorp into these new organisations. It’s a chance for a fresh start. There are good people within RailCorp that we want to keep but we also need reinvigoration from outside.”
Ms Berejiklian has been attacking the culture and structure of RailCorp since she announced late last year that she would reform the organisation.
She continued that attack this week when, standing next to Mr Mason, she announced she would replace RailCorp with the two new train operators, and offer 750 voluntary redundancy packages to middle management.
In a letter to staff this week, Mr Mason reiterated the criticism of an organisation he has led for four years. ”The biggest challenge we have is the size of our bureaucracy that stifles innovation and slows down decision making,” his letter says. ”I know our bureaucratic structures frustrate many of you, as they do me.”
Sydney Trains will operate most metropolitan services. NSW Trains will operate CountryLink services, as well as inter-city services from Newcastle, the central coast, Wollongong, the Blue Mountains and Southern Highlands.
”These changes will take place progressively over the next 12 to 18 months, and begin with the advertising of the two CEO positions in an effort to attract the best applicants from either the public or private sector,” wrote Mr Mason, who has been the chief executive since 2008 and who last year earned $520,800 in the job.
Ms Berejiklian has confirmed there are no plans to change the fare structure to bring regional fares more into line with CountryLink fares. But she has said there could be some changes in stopping patterns and service frequencies. The government will introduce a new timetable towards the end of next year.
She says there are no plans to cut frontline staff, and the measures announced this week were about freeing up resources for more frontline activities.
It is clear the government will announce further reforms. ”Tackling middle management inefficiency and our bureaucracy is just the first step,” Mr Mason’s letter says. ”All areas of RailCorp need improvement and you will be asked to look at ways to make this happen and to help build a sustainable future.”