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Andrew Constance, a Minister we cannot trust

Aug 10, 2017Bus Express

Throughout his tenure as NSW Minister for Transport, Andrew Constance has continued to demonstrate that he is incapable of running our transport network. His decisions, which are continuously made without any consultation with the public, continue to fail and backfire on both him and his Government. Constance’s leadership has been bungled with lies, secrets and greedy strategies to offset the costs of his mistakes onto commuters and residents.

Yesterday it was revealed that Constance has been secretly planning to slug Parramatta residents with a $110 levy to make up for his failure to budget correctly. The $1.2 billion gap in the funding project for Sydney’s new light rail from Westmead through to Carlingford will be dug out of residents’ pockets in a sneaky attempt, yet again, to force taxpayers to pay the price of his mistakes.

And even worse, another serious mistake by the NSW Minister for Transport was revealed last week as the Sydney Morning Herald uncovered that the inner west and central city tram lines will not be compatible. As the Minister for Transport – Andrew Constance can’t even ensure that Sydney’s billion dollar light rail can join with other tram lines. This will have serious impacts for the entire future of Sydney’s transport system and Constance should not continually to be forgiven.

In March, while Constance told Parliament and the public that Sydney’s billion dollar light rail network was on track and within budget, behind closed doors the NSW Liberal Government had documents that demonstrated the light rail project was, actually at serious risk of not being completed on time or within budget. It wasn’t until cabinet documents were leaked in July that another of Constance’s lies was unveiled. Just further evidence why he cannot be trusted as the Minister for Transport.

And again, just weeks ago, the Parramatta light rail was axed, just three months into the planning process. Thanks to Constance’s inability to budget and implement the infrastructure that we need, commuters will depend even more on the public buses – the same buses that Constance is currently threatening to sell off in the Inner West and across Sydney.

Amidst this chaos of planning fails and region sell-offs, the NSW Government have meanwhile been throwing 13 million dollars of taxpayer money into their own propaganda scheme, trying to convince disgruntled commuters that “Tomorrow’s Sydney” will be worth the disruption. Now they’ve just spent another 400 thousand dollars on research to find out if commuters are buying it.

Constance, we’ll save you the $400k, they’re not buying it.

Commuters across Sydney aren’t happy, and we know this by the 24,000 plus signatures for the ‘Don’t Sell Our Buses Campaign’. Parliament will be having two debates about the privatisation crisis in coming weeks. Yet the campaign has only just begun, as commuters across Sydney now fear that their public transport could be next on the sell-off overhaul.

If Andrew Constance and the NSW Liberal Government are left unchecked in their privatisation rampage, commuters will pay the price in higher fares and fewer services as private companies eat their way into our public pockets.

Our Union is in this fight for the long term, and we won’t back down. The public deserve to have a Transport Minister that listens to them and makes decisions to sustain and improve public transport networks – not sell them off to private companies who’ll cash in while taxpayers are left to pick up the tab.

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