NSW Greens MP and spokesperson for Transport, Dr Mehreen Faruqi MLC, has responded to the Government announcing it will take money from the private sector to replace regional train fleets, and has called it a tactic to covertly privatise regional train services.
Dr. Faruqi said:
“Before the 2015 election they promised new regional trains and now two years later they are saying they might be on track for 2020. Regional NSW desperately needs trains after forty years of bipartisan neglect.
“The Government has repeatedly promised it would replace the ageing XPT, XPLORER and Endeavour trains and now it is offloading that responsibility to the private sector.
“The Government has got a budget surplus well in excess of $4 billion, but here we are with people in regional NSW being ignored and their train fleets being caught up in some kind of privatisation experiment.
“We have no idea what this deal could mean for regional communities, how much it will cost the taxpayer in giving profits to the private sector and how this will affect ticket prices. The job of the Government is to provide services, so they should just get on and build them.
“This could be the beginning of more privatisation by stealth. We know as soon as the private sector gets involved in public transport, profit is the main motive, often at the expense of routes and services” she concluded.