Hunter Labor MPs and aggrieved commuters today continued their push to hold the NSW Government to account on what they perceive to be the disastrous privatisation of Newcastle Buses.
Member for Swansea, Yasmin Catley and Member for Charlestown, Jodie Harrison debated the issue in NSW Parliament following the tabling last month of a 10,000plus signature petition.
Over one hundred commuters travelled from Newcastle and Lake Macquarie to Sydney to listen to the debate from the public gallery.
NSW Labor has been demanding Transport Minister Andrew Constance conduct a detailed, transparent and independent review of the timetables and routes and guarantee public consultation as part of the review since their introduction in early January.
According to Ms Catley and Harrison the new bus routes and timetabling has resulted in:
- Longer journey times
- Poor connectivity
- A more inconvenient service
- Cuts to services
- Reduced operating hours
Of most concern to them are the impacts the cuts and changes have had on the most vulnerable commuters, including the elderly and people with disabilities.
Ms Harrison said: “We are standing here today because of the persistence and determination of the people of the Hunter, and we wouldn’t have had to do all this, if the Government had bothered to listen in the first place.”
“Too often the concerns of local residents are ignored while decision makers in Sydney pander to the big end of town.
“I ask that the Minister listen to the Hunter people, and intervene to restore their much needed direct bus services.”
Ms Catley said: “We’ve got over 100 people in Parliament House today who are here to show Minister Constance that his decisions have had a devastating impact on their lives.
“His arrogance to date is shameful and if other members of the Government had any decency they would avoid being tarred with the same brush and support our campaign to fix Newcastle buses.”