17 December 2018
TWU SLAMS THE STATE GOVERNMENT’S CUTS TO PUBLIC TRANSPORT AS IRRESPONSIBLE RISK TO ROAD SAFETY
The Transport Workers Union of Australia SA/NT Branch has slammed the South Australian Liberal Government for making further cuts to Public Transport Services over the holidays, warning that road safety will be compromised and labelling it a “Grinch who stole Christmas” attitude.
The TWU warns that there is already heightened danger on the roads over the holidays, with more road traffic accidents likely to occur. These cuts add an escalated level of risk by encouraging the public to take to the roads when they would otherwise be able to rely on public transport.
“At this time of year more than ever, truck drivers, couriers and other transport workers are under even more pressure. The last thing we need on our roads are drivers that should be using alternate means to get home after a few drinks over the festivities. It is completely irresponsible for the government to prioritise cost-cutting over road safety,” said TWU SA/NT Branch Official, Matt Burnell.
The move will also impact workers who don’t get to enjoy time off over the break. From the 24th of December to 4th of January, 12 Days in total, the public will be required to find alternative means of transport if they are unable to find a service in their area to complete their daily commute.
“There is no reason for a worker to now have to rely on a taxi service to get to their place of work because they can’t arrive on time due to a lack of services,” Burnell said.
“This is simply not good enough, we have seen time and again this year a Government determined to push the disadvantaged further to the curb. Public Transport is an essential service that needs to be provided so that all members of the public have an opportunity to actively participate in society, especially during this time of the year,” Burnell continued.
These cuts have also seen Bus Operators displaced with the requirement to take unscheduled leave. Transport workers are no doubt pleased to have time to spend with their families, but are acutely aware of the impact this has on the travelling public.
In 2014, the previous government sought to make similar changes but due to public pressure, saw the error in that decision and chose to rectify it. The TWU is calling on the current Liberal Government to do the same now.
Our State needs a reliable public transport system to enable the public to participate in society and contribute to our economy in a safe and responsible way for all.
For further information or to arrange a media interview, please contact Matt Burnell, TWU SA/NT Branch Official, 0437 221 629.