The announcement of Keolis Downer as the new private operator for Adelaide Metro rail services represents a betrayal of the people of South Australia.
Rail, Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) SA/NT Secretary Daren Phillips today said jobs, safety and services would all be put at risk by the Marshall Government’s broken promise on rail privatisation.
“Steven Marshall was elected as Premier on the promise that he did not have a ‘privatisation agenda’.
“Today he is exposed as a cheap hustler who says one thing, but does the opposite.”
Mr Phillips said serious questions remained about the integrity of the privatisation process.
“Even now, after the successful bidder has been announced, the State Government still hasn’t released a business case to explain why it is privatising rail services in the first place.
“There are unresolved questions around the failure to follow probity guidelines and secret million-dollar ‘loser fees’ for the bidders.
“The public also need to know if any extra sweeteners were thrown in to seal the deal with the new operator.
“All this is going on against the backdrop of a health and economic crisis.
“Privatisation is reckless in good times, but in a global pandemic it is downright dangerous.
“Outsourcing rail operations will put safety at risk, and inevitably lead to job losses – right in the middle of the first recession for 30 years.
“This is a sad day for South Australia, but we will not give up fighting to protect jobs and protect services.”