South Australia's trains and trams are coming home

The return of South Australia’s passenger train and tram services into public operation is a huge win for both local commuters and transport workers.


Rail, Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) South Australian Branch Secretary Darren Phillips today congratulated the Malinauskas Government for delivering on its promise to bring essential transport services back into public operation.

“South Australia’s trains and trams are coming home,” Mr Phillips said.

“This announcement means that taxpayers money that is budgeted for public transport will actually go into public transport - without a private company clipping the ticket on the way through.

“It means that the operator of our train and tram services will be directly accountable to the South Australian community - and to commuters - not to corporate shareholders.

“And it means that transport workers will be able to negotiate with an employer that cares about South Australians, and cares about more than just maximising profits.”

Always a dud deal

Mr Phillips said transport workers ran a long and fierce campaign against the privatisation of transport services by the former Liberal State Government, because they knew that privatisation would be a dud deal for South Australians.

“This is great day for South Australians,” Mr Phillips said.  “This result shows how workers, their unions and their communities can be a powerful force when they all work together in the public interest.”

Lesson for other states

RTBU National Secretary Mark Diamond also commended Premier Peter Malinauskas and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Tom Koutsantonis for the manner in which they conducted their negotiations with the private operators.

“Peter Malinauskas had the courage to promise to bring public transport back under public control, and Tom Koutsantonis had the smarts to make it happen.

“There is a very clear lesson here for other State and Territory Governments around Australia – reversing bad privatisation decisions can be done.”