Bus bid baloney

Shadow Minister for Transport, Jodi McKay, MPs Steve Kamper, Jo Haylen, Opposition leader Luke Foley and MPs Chriss Minns and Sophie Cotsis deliver the petitions to stop the privatisation of Inner West buses.

Story appeared in: Inner West Times | August 9th, 2017

ALMOST 25,000 people have signed a petition calling on the NSW Government to scrap its plans to privatise an Inner West bus route.
The proposal has been slammed by unions and NSW Labor, who say it will result in job losses and have called on the Minister to abandon privatisation plans.
Transport and Infrastructure Minister Andrew Constance argues that Bus Region 6, which services suburbs from the city west to Strathfield and Olympic Park, should be tendered to ensure extra and more reliable services for commuters.
Minister Constance announced in May that the Inner West services attracted the highest number of complaints in the metropolitan area, well above the results of bordering regions operated by private industry.
State Labor MP for Summer Hill, Jo Haylen, has tabled in Parliament a second 10,000 signature petition opposed to the plans. The signatures are on top of the 14,000 signatures previously collected by bus drivers and will force the Minister to front the Parliament in two separate debates to defend his decision.
"The Inner West is united against the privatisation of our Inner West buses," Ms Haylen said.
"These 10,000 signatures are a testament to just how strongly the Inner West opposes these plans."
State Labor MP for Canterbury, Sophie Cotsis, said that while the Minister has said that Inner West residents want to see their services privatised, the petition proves otherwise.
"I haven't met a single resident who supports the Minister. He must change course on privatisation," Ms Cotsis said.
Minister Constance said State Transit lagged behind its industry competitors in measures like on-time running and reliability.
"If the bus industry can provide quality in western Sydney, the Inner West deserves the same, especially as Sydney grows," Mr Constance said.
The Government will continue to own Region 6 buses and assets, including depots, and will continue to set fares and timetables. Private operators will have to re-apply for contracts every five to 10 years.

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Publication: Inner West Times | Section: News | Author: Mick Roberts | Story ID: 130010 | Viewcount: 17128