Keep Public Transport in Public Hands

As a result of incredible community-led campaigning, the Berejiklian government was again forced to debate the privatisation of Inner West buses. Read Jenny's speech in parliament supporting the campaign, and opposing the privatisation of public transport. 


Ms JENNY LEONG ( Newtown ) ( 16:53 :51 ): By leave: I speak on behalf of The Greens on this 10,000-signature petition opposing the privatisation of inner west buses. My Greens colleague Jamie Parker, the member for Balmain, would be happy to speak also but unfortunately there is a limit on the number of members who can speak in this discussion. The Greens are committed to public transport. When we talk about public transport, we mean publicly operated and owned public transport. The idea of public transport being privately run or privately operated is bizarre. It is a completely inappropriate way to manage public transport in this State. The Greens commit to fight every day in this place for public transport to remain in public hands. If the Liberal Minister for Transport and Infrastructure proceeds to privatise inner west bus services then The Greens will call on a future Labor Government to commit to returning that service to public hands. The Greens are committed to seeing all privatised bus networks across the State returned to public hands—because public transport should be in public hands.

More than 10,000 people signed this petition. There was also another 10,000‑signature petition that we debated in this place. I am pleased to say that, in addition to the names on those petitions, I have another 1,800 signatures from people who live in the electorate of Newtown in the inner west and who call on the Minister not to privatise our inner west bus services. There is one thing going on here: Slowly and surely, the New South Wales Liberal-Nationals Government is attempting to delegate all its responsibilities by privatising everything. At some point the Minister for Transport and Infrastructure needs to take responsibility for the fact that the bus system is not working appropriately because of a lack of comprehensive integration of transport planning, urban planning, roads planning and city planning to make our cities liveable.

We need to ask: At what point do those opposite privatise so much that they will make themselves redundant? We will find out in the coming months, as they attempt to sell off and privatise everything to the point where they will not be responsible for running anything any more. Then the people will get to ask: What is the point of someone being the Minister and getting paid a ministerial salary if they are not going to take responsibility for their actions? The Greens are committed to public transport. We want it to work for people in this city, and we will continue to stand up for it every day we are in this place.


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