Over 300 people turned out on Monday night for a public meeting in Leichhardt to support passengers and staff affected by the proposed sell off of Inner West bus routes.
Jamie Parker, Member for Balmain, said:
"This is an unprecedented turnout to a local public meeting and it is a measure of the support for public bus services in the Inner West.
As people from the Inner West, our bus network is the lifeline of our area – it’s how we get the kids to school or to their doctor’s appointment, how we get to a work meeting or a job interview, or just how we travel to meet up with friends.
Getting where we need to go must be easy for everyone, regardless of whether we own a car or are able to walk around.
We don’t want yet another service privatised - we want proper planning to make buses work better in our changing city, with measures like priority lanes and traffic lights, smarter timetables and better route planning.
Our local community has sent a powerful message to the government and we won't stop until we see a genuine commitment to public transport."
Bus driver Austin said:
"Being a bus driver is the best job I've ever had - and I've had a lot of jobs over my 40 years working.
I grew up in the Inner West - I know what it's like when a bus is late or doesn't come. The transport minister talks about drivers ‘walking off the job’. But if a driver drives longer than five hours, they're breaking the law. If the bus has an accident, that driver would be going to jail.
They've privatised TAFE, they've privatised electricity and gas. And did prices go down? No."
If you couldn't attend the meeting last night, but would like to show the government that we won’t let them privatise yet another public service, you can download a copy of our Parliamentary petition here.
Please sign the petition and ask your family and friends to sign it too. Return it to my office free of charge by posting it to Jamie Parker MP, Reply Paid 84125, GLEBE NSW 2037.
I'll make sure the petition is read out in Parliament, and if we get 500 signatures, we can make sure the Transport Minister has to reply within 30 days.
If you would like to further support the drivers and passengers who will be worse off after the sell off, you're welcome at the forthcoming Unions NSW Community Assembly at Pitt Street Uniting Church on 28 June.
If you'd like your own bright yellow 'stop the sell off' sign to display at home, please drop into our office at 112a Glebe Point Road and pick one up!