Political gain over safety: Reports show NSW Govt can’t be trusted on transport safety
Media release, 1 Oct 2021: Revelations today that the Premier and Transport Minister both knew of the safety risks associated with the setting up of the rail entity to artificially inflate the state’s budget but pushed ahead anyway is further proof the government can’t be trusted when it comes to transport safety.
Reports in the Sydney Morning Herald today reveal that both Gladys Berejiklian and Andrew Constance, the then Transport Minister and Treasurer, were briefed at length of the safety risks of setting up the Transport Asset Holding Entity.
Alex Claassens said the revelations are shockingly disturbing.
“These are the people ultimately charged with ensuring the lives of the people of NSW are protected, but this information shows they were prepared to risk safety on our network for political gain. ” Mr Claassens said.
“Every single person in NSW should be horrified by this information. Having a world-class safe transport network is something we deserve in this state, yet the people at the very top are actively undermining that.
“This report shows that not only has this government deliberately tried to deceive the public financially, but they did so knowing it would risk the safety of the travelling public and our transport workers.
“This NSW Government’s record on transport safety is seriously under question, and we’re seeing it again with things like their attempt to introduce the New InterCity Fleet – a fleet we know is dangerous – and the current attack on safety as part of the Sydney and NSW Trains enterprise agreement negotiations. It’s another case of politics ahead of safety.
“We cannot have a government that turns a blind eye to safety on our transport systems.
“This willingness to put profits and politics ahead of safety is precisely why we’ve had to see rail workers walk off the job in recent days.
“We’re seeing more and more information about this government’s record on transport spending and its reckless refusal to consult the workers in the industry, which seriously jeopardises safety. NSW commuters should be on notice that a serious incident will occur if this thinking doesn’t change.
“We are hopeful that the current inquiry into this issue will dig deep.
“We have witnessed several tragedies like the Waterfall disaster. We know what happens when corners are cut – lives are put at risk. No one should have to live through tragedies like that ever again.”