House debates

Thursday, 17 February 2022

Constituency Statements

Kingsford Smith Electorate: Bus Services

9:59 am

Photo of Matt ThistlethwaiteMatt Thistlethwaite (Kingsford Smith, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Assistant Minister for the Republic) Share this | | Hansard source

Prior to the 2019 New South Wales state election, the then Premier, Gladys Berejiklian, gave a firm commitment to our community that there would be no privatisation of bus services in the eastern suburbs of Sydney. Gladys Berejiklian and, indeed, the new Premier, Dom Perrottet, misled our community, because that is exactly what they have gone ahead and done in the wake of the election. They've let our community down and misled the people of the eastern suburbs, because the New South Wales Liberal government has proceeded with the cutting of 24 local bus services and a large number of bus stops, and they're proceeding with the privatisation of the public bus service that is so beloved by many in our community and relied on by so many. It's a despicable act that will have a dramatic effect on the quality of life of so many in our community, particularly the elderly, people with a disability and children, who rely on these bus services on a daily basis to go about their business.

Over the last six months I have been contacted by many constituents and locals who are dismayed at the decision made by the New South Wales government. I want to provide a flavour of the responses that I've had from the community for the House from this email I received from Sandra of Botany, who wrote: 'Since school returned over two weeks ago our kids haven't had a day they could get home in under two hours. It's astonishing that it's taken them over two hours to travel 10 kilometres in distance from Waverley to Botany. Our kids are usually exhausted and stressed by the time they get home, and this has consequently impacted on our whole family life.' This has occurred because the government cut the 400 bus service that this family relied on to get their kids to school on a daily basis. She goes on to say: 'When the state government decided to make changes to bus services, they also decided to take away our suburb's most vital bus service.' That is a reflection of what's going on with this government. It's not just in Botany. From La Perouse all the way to Randwick, there have been cuts to services, and they've had a dramatic effect on people's quality of life.

The reason we pay taxes is for governments to provide quality services, particularly quality health care, education, and transport services. They're the vital services that people rely on, on a daily basis. When you cut bus services like this, it has a dramatic effect on the people of our area. The Perrottet government should be ashamed of themselves for the disadvantage and hurt they've caused to so many, particularly pensioners and people with a disability.