Labor MPs, including Canterbury’s Sophie Cotsis and Summer Hills’ Jo Haylen, have joined unions in slamming the Government’s proposal to privatise bus services.
SELLING off 233 bus routes in Sydney's Inner West and Canterbury Bankstown area, is yet another example of the Government's obsession with privatisation, says the NSW Opposition.
Transport Minister Andrew Constance says the Inner West bus services, or region six, attracted the highest number of complaints out of the metropolitan area in recent years, well above the results of bordering regions operated by private industry. It also had one of the worst on-time running results last year.
"There have been improvements in recent years, but State Transit still lags a long way behind its industry competitors," he said.
"If the bus industry can provide quality in western Sydney, the Inner West deserves the same, especially as Sydney grows."
State Labor MP for Lakemba, Jihad Dib, said privatisation could result in reduced services and a loss of jobs for drivers and maintenance staff.
"Public buses belong to the people," Mr Dib said.
"If there are problems with government bus services they should be fixed – not sold off. Our local community relies very heavily on regular and accessible bus services."
State Labor MP for Canterbury, Sophie Cotsis, says Labor opposes the privatisation and will join the community to fight against the dismantling of public services.
Minister Constance says the Government will continue to own the buses and assets, including depots, and will continue to set fares and timetables. Private operators will have to compete and re-apply for contracts every five to 10 years.