Awabakal and Worimi country: The Greens NSW today launched its plan to revitalise public transport services and jobs in Newcastle, ahead of the March election. The plan includes winding back the privatisation of Newcastle’s transport system, which has delivered fractured and unreliable services and an undermined workforce.
The plan also includes a commitment to bring back local train manufacturing to Newcastle, to once again assert the region as a national and global leader in transport manufacturing.
Greens MP and transport spokesperson Abigail Boyd joined Greens candidates for Newcastle and Wallsend, John Mackenzie and Rebecca Watkins, to announce the Greens plan to reset and revitalise public transport in Newcastle.
“You mention public transport to just about anyone in Newcastle and you will get the same response – anger or just a sad shake of the head. Privatisation, offshoring and maliciously incompetent government decisions have wreaked havoc on the lives of Novocastrians,” Greens MP and transport spokesperson Abigail Boyd said.
“After 12 years of the Liberal-National government’s ideological agenda, Newcastle has been left with a decimated and undermined workforce, a fractured public transport network that is rendered near unusable, and a bad taste in the mouth.
“The Greens NSW have announced a comprehensive package to fix this mess, to unwind the disastrous privatisation of our buses, to bring back high-quality and well-paying manufacturing jobs, and to make all public transport completely free.
“The Greens are the only party with a plan to deliver Newcastle a fast, affordable, accessible and reliable public transport system befitting the State’s second-biggest city,” she said.
The Greens plan will:
- Introduce free public transport, including on all buses, trains, light rail and ferries
- Put public transport back into public hands, unwinding privatisation
- Fast track accessibility upgrades for all public transport options to bring NSW into line with the national Disability Discrimination Act
- Deliver enhanced public transport options for the regions
- Create high-quality, secure unionised manufacturing jobs in NSW by reinvigorating manufacturing hubs for trains and electric buses
- Welcome pets onto public transport
As stated by Abigail Boyd, Greens MP and Transport and Treasury spokesperson:
“The Greens have been sounding the alarm on privatisation for years, and what happened here in Newcastle was really the canary in the coal mine. The dangers were immediately apparent to workers – and now the reality is really hitting home for commuters as well who are being underserved.
“NSW desperately needs some actual leadership. It’s time to bring public transport back into public hands. It’s not enough to say no more privatisation, we need to be actively working to reverse this privatisation and making a clear commitment to not renew a single contract. Otherwise we risk locking ourselves into further decades of dysfunction.
“Free Public Transport is not only achievable, it is essential for well functioning communities and economies. It’s vital that free transport is accompanied by an investment in providing the services to match the need – rather than restricting and degrading services to reduce demand.
As stated by John Mackenzie, Candidate for Newcastle:
“The Greens fought long and hard against the ripping up of our train network and the privatisation of our bus and ferry services.
“Sadly our greatest fears were realised – Newcastle’s transport system has gone completely off the rails.
“The Greens plan will get us back on track. By taking back our bus services into public hands as soon as possible, we will pave the way for Newcastle to become the well-running and vibrant city that I know it can be. The people of Newcastle deserve much better than what this Liberal-National Government has served up to them.”
As stated by Rebecca Watkins, Candidate for Wallsend:
“I know from personal experience how frustrating our public transport is, especially for residents in the outer suburbs. Public transport is obviously important to get people to and from work, but it’s also used every day by people visiting friends, visiting parks, going to the sport or cultural activities like concerts and art galleries.
“These can be hard to do when services are limited, often time-consuming, and sometimes never turn up. The Greens policy of free public transport will really revitalise our city.
“It’s time we followed the lead of other cities around the world and delivered a public transport people run for people not profit.”
Main Policy: https://greens.org.au/nsw/publictransport2023
Free Public Transport: https://greens.org.au/nsw/freepublictransport2023
Public transport in Public Hands: https://greens.org.au/nsw/publictransportinpublichands2023