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Media release: Union demands Premier refute secret transport sell-off plans

The Rail, Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) NSW is calling on the Premier and Transport Minister to denounce a leaked PwC report recommending the corporatisation of the state’s public transport network, including billions of dollars in infrastructure and assets, as a clear betrayal of its election promises and an unacceptable threat to public safety.

“This report confirms our very worst fears about the government’s plans for our state’s public transport,” says Alex Claassens, Secretary of RTBU NSW.

“The NSW Government built a financial house of cards when it set up the Transport Assets Holding Entity, with no purpose other than to bolster its budget sheet.

“The fact that TAHE is an unviable and unparalleled failure is outrageous enough. But the government actually considered covering up its failure by fully privatising the entity, then propping it up by handing over billions of dollars of taxpayer-owned infrastructure, including all of our buses, trams and trains, to profit from.

“Taxpayers would end up footing the bill, paying more for public transport while receiving a poorer service that is less safe.

“All of this was considered by the government just to improve its balance sheets. It’s an outrageous betrayal of the people of NSW, who stand to lose in every way.

“Premier Berejiklian made a promise that no public assets would be sold by her government.

“The Premier must come forward today to denounce this report. She must make a clear and solemn promise to the people of NSW that their valuable public transport assets will never leave the government’s hands, and that when it comes to safety the buck stops with the government.

“The union has fought this government inch by inch as it privatises our public transport network inch by inch. It’s always claimed that the public will benefit, but today’s revelations have blown all such claims out of the water.

“Premier Berejiklian must earn the public’s trust on transport again, and it starts with denouncing this report today and putting a stop to the great transport sell-off that’s been happening on her watch.”

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