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Transport secretary’s obsession with ‘automation’ a risk to our safety

Jul 27, 2018Media releases

 The NSW Government’s blind obsession with cutting essential jobs and replacing them with computers will set the state down a dangerous path and put the safety of workers and commuters at serious risk, the union representing transport workers said today.

Rail, Tram and Bus Union Secretary, Alex Claassens said NSW state transport secretary, Rodd Staples’, claims in the Australian Financial Review today that the state plans to “embrace” automation of transport systems and wanted to be “much more loose” with how it worked with industry is simply code for wanting to take the axe to even more workers.

“The NSW Government and its departments’ obsession with doing away with jobs will put lives at risk,” Mr Claassens said.

“This isn’t about keeping up with the latest technology – this is purely and simply about cutting jobs at the expense of safety.

“All of the talk about automation fails to take into account the important safety role workers play on our trains and buses. The comparisons they use with other jurisdictions globally are flawed and dangerous.

“Workers are always happy to embrace new technology but not if it’s going to put the safety of the public at risk.

“We know the travelling public want to know that there’s someone there if things go wrong on their transport service. Forcing people into a piece of metal travelling at high speeds with no one in control is as crazy as it is perilous.

“It’s been proven time and again – from the timetable debacle to the privatisation of our buses – that this government doesn’t care at all about improving public transport outcomes for commuters. The obsession with dangerous driverless systems is just another example of that.”