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Media Release: Union welcomes Transport Minister’s commitment to keep guards on trains

Oct 22, 2018Media releases

Union welcomes Transport Minister’s commitment to keep guards on trains


The Rail, Tram and Bus Union welcomes the NSW Transport Minister’s commitment today that all trains will continue to have guards on them.


The NSW Government had originally planned for the New InterCity Fleet, which has been purchased overseas and is expected to arrive in Australia next year, to be guardless – a move which the union said was a serious and unacceptable risk to the safety of workers and commuters.


“This commitment from the Transport Minister is very welcomed,” RTBU NSW Secretary, Alex Claassens said.


“Workers and commuters have been rightly incredibly concerned about the risk of guardless trains, so it’s a big relief to hear that won’t be happening.


“Train guards play a vital role in keeping commuters safe and making sure our trains run on time. They assist people with a disability and the less-able to use our public transport services, they ensure the safety of passengers on our trains, they assist in the event of an emergency, and they keep our trains running on time.


“Removing guards from our trains would have been a disaster.


“The Transport Minister, to his credit, has listened carefully to the workers and stepped in and put a stop to a potentially disastrous situation.”


The Minister’s announcement came after he met with Martin Stewart – the 2018 Blind Australian of The Year who warned the government that removing guards from our trains would be disastrous.


Martin Stewart lost an arm, a leg and the top of his left ear in a preventable incident on a Melbourne train platform – an accident he says wouldn’t have happened had there been a guard on the train.


“The incident changed my life forever and it was completely preventable. If the Victorian Government hadn’t removed guards from trains, I would still have both legs, both arms and both ears. But instead, because the Government picked cost-cutting over passenger safety, my life and my family’s lives has been changed forever.


“It’s great that the NSW Transport Minister has committed to keeping guards on our trains, and prioritising the safety of the travelling public.”


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