The Marshall Government’s decision to junk its controversial plans to close down over 1,000 bus stops and close down Service SA centres at Prospect, Modbury and Mitcham is a huge win for South Australian communities.
Rail, Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) SA/NT Secretary Darren Phillips today said the State Government needed to go further however, and also ditch its damaging public transport privatisation plan.
“Two out of three is still bad,” Mr Phillips said.
“If Steven Marshall is serious about listening to the people of South Australia then he will cancel the planned privatisation of passenger train services, and reverse the privatisation of trams.”
Mr Phillips said Adelaide’s trams were the last remaining tram service in Australia in public hands – until this coming weekend.
“It is a tragedy that Adelaide’s highly successful publicly-owned and operated tram system is being handed over to a private company.”
“The privatisation of tram and train services couldn’t come at a worse possible time, with the coronavirus crisis looming large over the public transport industry.
“Tram and train workers have done their very best to support the community during the pandemic crisis, despite the uncertainty caused by the privatisation of their jobs.
“While countries like the United Kingdom are bringing outsourced public transport operations back under government control, the South Australian Government is going in the opposite direction.
“Privatisation is all about extracting profits, and inevitably those profits will come from cuts to services.
“That’s why handing over our public transport operations to private companies will disadvantage the people who can least afford it, and particularly during the COVID-19 recession.”