RTBU Media Release: NSW Gov sells off Bankstown to Sydenham rail despite backlash
The NSW Government has today announced it will go ahead with its plans to rip up the Bankstown heavy rail line to convert it to metro and sell it off to an Hong Kong company.
The Rail, Tram and Bus Union NSW says this comes despite severe community backlash. RTBU NSW Secretary Alex Claassens said “This Government is ripping up a perfectly good rail line to replace it with a service which will actually hold less passengers.
“If commuters think it’s gridlocked now, it’s only going to become worse when this heavy rail is removed and privatised.
“Tax payer money would’ve been far better spent by upgrading and extending our current rail network, not ripping it up. The construction of the metro line is just a permit for overdevelopment in an area that is already suffering from congestion, and the metro won’t help that at all.
“This is just another example of this Liberal Government putting their own privatisation ideologies ahead of commuter interests.”
Under the NSW Government’s plan, the line will be run by an overseas-based private operator and will mean:
- Chaos for commuters who will be left stranded for months on end while the line is shut down;
- No drivers, guards or station staff – putting the safety of commuters at serious risk;
- Fewer seats for passengers;
- Profits will go to the Hong Kong based owner of the line, not to the community;
- Less station access for commuters along the line;
- Potential for large-scale development along the line.
“Hundreds of commuters in the area affected by this privatisation have already signed a petition to save the Bankstown rail line.
“Once again, the commuters of Sydney aren’t being listened to.” Mr Claassens said.