NSW Transport Minister, Andrew Constance has told media of the government’s vision for a completely privatised public transport network. Mr. Constance told AFR on Monday that “in 10 to 15 years’ time, government will not be in the provision of transport services”.
Greens NSW MP and Transport Spokesperson, Dr Mehreen Faruqi MLC, has called the plans a blatant prioritisation of private interest over public needs.
Dr Faruqi said: “There is no doubt that advances in technology offer many opportunities to improve public transport but for the government to use this as an excuse to wash their hands of providing any public transport is preposterous.
“It is making more and more sense why the NSW Government is refusing to build new extensions to the public transport network and is spending billions on gifting the existing network over to the private sector.
“Because this government is incapable of delivering well-planned integrated public transport infrastructure on budget they just want to abrogate the responsibility altogether, rather than face up to the fact and improve.
“It is a responsibility of the government to guarantee the basic provision of public transport to people, and that includes those living in the most deprived and disadvantaged areas. Once you hand it over to private contractors, there is no guarantee that’ll happen and people who need it most will be left behind.
“Affordable, reliable and accessible public transport is an essential service. Once you hand it over to private sector there is no guarantee that commuters’ needs will be met. Transport will become a rat race for profit,” she concluded.