THE state's threats to sack Queensland Rail's highest-paid executive mean little when regional Queensland would likely become collateral damage as the government continues to slash jobs.
The opposition's comments follow reports that Transport Minister Scott Emerson planned to cut 2200 jobs from QR's network.
Mr Emerson's office would not confirm the number, except to say it was targeting highly-paid executives.
Opposition leader Annastacia Palaszczuk said of QR's 7200 staff, 1750 were based in regional Queensland.
If Mr Emerson was to cut 2200 workers, she said the 70 executives to choose from would make up only a tiny fraction.
"Job losses will take a heavy toll on local economies," Ms Palaszczuk said.
"As a former transport minister, I know you simply cannot remove 2200 people from a total QR staff of 7200 without cutting frontline jobs and service standards.
"The figures for senior QR executives and managers quoted by Mr Emerson add up to just more than 70."
The opposition leader said the government must guarantee it would not cut security staff, which would cause concerns for travellers across the state.
On Thursday morning, Mr Emerson's office released a statement demanding QR cut its "bloated executive".
It is understood the minister demanded job cuts to be made within the company, but QR returned with options for cutting lower level or frontline workers.
QR has since been told to look closely at its 12 senior executives - who are paid as CEOs and share in a combined salary of more than $4.5 million - and its suite of general managers.
Mr Emerson said Main Roads, which was a similar size to QR, had one-third the number of general managers and just two executives paid at a CEO level.
"Over the past two years, staffing has increased by 68% in the communication, stakeholder and marketing area, 122% increase in finance area, and 66% in strategy and corporate services area.
"Queensland Rail has been asked to report back to the Government on how it will achieve savings that can be redirected in that way.
"I've asked all transport agencies to look for savings in their head office to ensure we get Queensland's budget position back to a sustainable level."