MEDIA RELEASE: Workers welcome Council’s rejection of transport privatisation

9 Dec, 2015: Workers have welcomed Newcastle City Council’s commitment overnight to supporting the continued public ownership and operation of our public transport services.

Hunter Unions Secretary, Daniel Wallace, says that with both impacted local Councils – Newcastle and Lake Macquarie – now moving motions opposing the privatisation of local bus, ferry and light rail services, it is critical the NSW Government acknowledges its proposed sell-off is not supported by the local community.

“The NSW Government has a responsibility to listen to the needs of the community before it starts making changes that will impact local workers and residents,” Mr Wallace said.

“We’re now in a situation where both local councils have openly supported keeping our transport in public hands.

“The Premier stood in front of hundreds of workers recently and promised not to move ahead with the privatisation unless it can be proven that local commuters will be left with a better service. We’re going to be holding him to that.

“That means that we need to be consulted and given access to all the relevant information the government is going to base its decision on.

“The Premier needs to ensure complete transparency on this project. If there are going to be cost implications, job implications or service implications, the community needs to be properly consulted.

“It looked as though we were going to have the privatisation rammed down our throats, but the Premier’s recent commitment to consult openly and transparently from here on in has hopefully changed that.

“We’ve now written to the Premier asking him to honour his commitment and meet with local council representatives, unions and local workers to discuss the next steps.”

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