#FixMyRide campaign makes its mark

After a long period of vote counting, the dust has finally settled on one of the closest Federal elections in decades.

NDOA_pic_Dunkley.JPGThe Coalition Government has been returned – but with a threadbare majority in the Lower House. Malcolm Turnbull has claimed a “mandate” for his aggressive anti-union policies – including his policy of moving long-distance freight off rail and onto flag-of-convenience ships – but he will struggle to deal with an increasingly hostile Senate, where the Nick Xenophon Team and Paul Hanson’s One Nation will wield enormous power over the Government’s policy agenda.

Meanwhile, the Labor Party has picked up 13 seats, and will go into the new Parliament with more MPs and, we hope, a renewed sense of purpose.

RTBU campaign

The RTBU’s #FixMyRide campaign played its role in the election result. We targeted our energy and resources in a series of key seats – through advertising in newspapers and on social media, distributing flyers and petitions, and organising actions at train stations. Our activist members were also directly involved in the ACTU’s build a Better Future campaign, getting out to pre-poll booths and on election day.  We encouraged people to think about rail and public transport when casting their vote – and ultimately to put the Liberals and Nationals last.

 Our target sets were chosen on several criteria. The seats were:

  • Marginal seats that were “in play”;
  • Contained candidates that were supportive of the RTBU and our industries;
  • Included a relatively high number of transport workers; and
  • Were places where public transport and rail freight issues were of particular interest to voters.

Snapshot of results

Here’s a quick snapshot of the campaign and how it played out across our target seats:




Bass (Tas)

On-line advertising, social media advertising

Sitting Liberal Andrew was defeated by ALP candidate Ross Hart.

New England (NSW)

Print advertising, social media advertising, media commentary

Independent Tony Windsor recorded a strong swing, but Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce retained his seat.

Dunkley (Vic)

Media commentary, social media advertising, train station actions and Fix My Ride flyers

The Liberals retained the seat, but were forced into announcing funding for a study into the electrification of the Baxter line.

Patterson (NSW)

Social media advertising, Fix My Ride flyers, direct assistance to candidate

Labor candidate Meryl Swanson defeated the Liberals’ Karen Howard.

Lindsay (NSW)

Social media advertising, train station actions, fix My Ride flyers, direct assistance to candidate

Labor candidate Emma Husar defeated sitting Liberal MP Fiona Scott

Greenway (NSW)

Fix My Ride flyers, train station actions, direct assistance to candidate

Labor’s Michelle Rowland successfully retained the seat.


Direct assistance to candidate

Labor’s Susan Templeman defeated sitting Liberal MP Louise Markus

Cowan (WA)

Social media advertising

Labor’s Ann Aly defeated sitting Liberal MP Luke Simpkins

Hindmarsh (SA)

Social media advertising

Labor’s Steve Georganos defeated sitting Liberal MP Matt Williams

Longman (Qld)

Fix My Ride flyers and material, involvement in ACTU Build a Better Future actions

Labor’s Susan Lamb defeated sitting Liberal MP Wyatt Roy

Herbert (Qld)

Involvement in ACTU Build a Better Future actions

Labor’s Cathy O’Toole defeated sitting Liberal MP Ewen Jones by just 8 votes (will go to a re-count).

Griffith (Qld)

Fix My Ride flyers and material, involvement in ACTU Build a Better Future actions

Labor’s Terri Butler successfully retained the seat

Congratulations to everyone who got involved

Leanne___Craig.jpgRTBU members are to be congratulated for the way they picked up the #FixMyRide campaign and ran with it.  Through this campaign we’ve not only pressured our politicians, we’ve raised the profile of our Union built our presence on social media.  Contributing to the defeat of Andrew Nikolic in Bass – a vocal opponent of both unions and the rail freight industry – was particularly satisfying. 

At the end of the day, the Coalition scraped back into Government, and it remains determined to implement its anti-worker policies.  In that sense, the fight is not over, and our #FixMyRide campaign will go on.