#SydneyTrains – NSW Liberal Government’s shame

#SydneyTrains under the NSW Liberal Government is a complete shmozzles. We’ve had a Liberal Government for eight years. Think about it … eight years. That’s almost a decade, right!? Despite the promises, our public transport is still cactus.

To begin with, I may not be a public transport guru. Or any other type of guru for that matter. I do however use our public transport system. Further, I hear the experiences of friends, relatives, acquaintances who also use our public transport networks.

Q: Why does #SydneyTrains remain an unmitigated disaster?

A: Gladys Berejiklian is a charlatan. To clarify, when it comes to #SydneyTrains, Berejiklian has made no actual positive contribution to public transport in NSW. Everything has been stuffed up in one way or another under this Liberal Government.

Accordingly, I have a challenge for you. Firstly, name one public transport improvement that a Liberal Government has made. Next, identify an improvement to our public transport system that Gladys can claim as her own.

Gladys and #SydneyTrains

As far as I know Berejiklian is the only Transport Minister that got lost on #SydneyTrains. Remember those heady days? I’m unsure if Mike Baird was amused. Certainly, I was. Hehe

Most of Berejiklian’s “achievements” with Public Transport are completely shameful. Especially if you look at #SydneyTrains.

One of the first things Berejiklian moved on involved the deconstruction of the #SydneyTrains timetable. This resulted in unprecedented protest from commuters at that time.

Berejiklian as Treasurer

Before becoming Premier (due to Mike Baird’s sudden self-inflicted nuclear escape to the NAB) Berejiklian held Treasury. As Treasurer, Berejiklian’s primary concerns involved hiking fares, sacking #SydneyTrains staff and monitoring all our travel via Opal Cards.

Of equally important consideration is that by de-funding our states public transport agencies Gladys consequently neglected #SydneyTrains. This has obviously had a major negative impact on commuter satisfaction levels resulting from epic disruptions on multiple occasions.

Berejiklian’s Government brawled with #SydneyTrains drivers who imposed work bans and struck over pay and conditions (including safety concerns). There have also been severe glitches in other areas of the #SydneyTrains network. For example, the IT systems have gone into melt-down. More than once.

Image: #SydneyTrains - Liberals SHAME!
Image: #SydneyTrains – Liberals SHAME!

New investment in #SydneyTrains – bungled!

Eventually, when the Berejiklian Government does (somewhat reluctantly) invest in #SydneyTrains — it stuffs it up. For instance, we already know of highly embarrassing problems with the newly purchased rolling stock for #SydneyTrains.

Notably, the carriages won’t fit through existing tunnels. As a result, tunnels that have serviced the community for decades now require modification. In any event a readily avoidable additional expense bourne by taxpayers. Why?

Incompentence, arrogance and ideology.

Indeed, it’s logical to me, that new trains are built in compliance with existing infrastructure limitations and specifications. But, then again, my logic may be flawed because I’m not a right wing nut job in charge of #SydneyTrains. Nor the State.

Since Berejiklian’s Government does comprise right wing nut jobs in charge of #SydneyTrains and the State – you can only blame yourself. For electing them in the first place.

By and large, Berejiklian only inherited the Premier’s job after Mike Baird ignominiously resigned to go back to the bankers.

Public transport fails

For her parlous record on public transport and #SydneyTrains alone, Gladys Berejiklian and her government should be punted in March 2019. Need more reason to evict the Berejiklian Government?

Not to mention, Berejiklian’s Government has a no refund policy for massive inconvenience they cause you either! Regardless of how much money you may lose — “no refunds” — just wear it suckers! Oh, can you vote me in again in March 2019? Cheers!

However, if you remain unconvinced, read on. I’ll remind you of a few of Berejiklian’s other major public transport stuff ups during her time in Government.

Berejiklian’s other public transport stuff-ups

1. Newcastle trains

Berejiklian abandoned Newcastle. This occurred despite Gladys holding the Transport and Hunter portfolios. In her dual Ministerial role Gladys demolished existing Newcastle trains infrastructure to build new light rail infrastructure.

Mind you, the original infrastructure serviced the community reliably and did not need replacing. Nevertheless, despite community protests Berejiklian proceeded with a costly Light Rail project for Newcastle. Sound familiar?

No rhyme. Nor reason. No community consultation. No business case. Not even an itty-bitty-teensy-weensy business case.

In essence, Newcastle light rail is another Berejiklian public transport débâcle.

2. Sydney Light Rail débâcle

Plenty of people have written about Berejiklian’s Sydney Light ail débâcle. Most of the commentary is negative. Sydney Light rail is a balls up from go to woe. Or is that woe to go. I don’t know.

While I don’t intend to rehash all the associated problems, in brief, the Sydney Light rail project is:

Build something. Anything.

Capacity is never a consideration for a Liberal Government. Besides while many options exist, nobody’s heard of trackless trams in Berejiklian’s “liberal” Government. Apparently, trackless trams are cheaper to introduce, more economical to run while also — get this — less disruptive.

Further, Gladys Berejiklian now expects us to believe she can deliver a super fast train to Canberra — on time and on budget. Get real Gladys! Dream on!

The most compelling evidence for barring Berejiklian’s involvement in building a fast train between Sydney and Canberra (or beyond) is the continuing débâcle of Sydney’s light rail project.

3. Sydney Ferries Firesale

Again, the Sydney Ferries firesale received intense scrutiny and commentary. The Sydney Ferries Fire sale was a privatisation driven by ideology. Subsequently, it has not delivered for commuters.

However, with the remaining government owned ferry services due for privatisation clearly, Berejiklian wants out of public transport system.

UPDATE: We’ve also learned that #WageTheft and fare gouging (paraded as “charging for a premium service”) is an integral part of the privatised Sydney Ferries business model.

Shameful.

4. NorthWest rail line

This has been a major disruption from the start. Commuters right across the city are inconvenienced daily in the hope of privatising our public transport system.

There’s problems with thecarriages. There’s nothing but problems, problems, problems. All driven by ideology and not in the best interests of NSW citizens.

I believe ultimately, the Berejiklian wants to get rid of train drivers and cease running public transport.

5. And who can forget … WestConnex?

Again, WestConnex has had past scrutiny. WestConnex was labelled as lacking “transparency”. Since Berejiklian has now sold WestConnex to Transurban, transparency and accountability is further reduced.

Despite residents protesting against WestConnex, Berejiklian doesn’t care if you’re subject to dust, noise, or noxious fumes. So sad, too bad, apparently.

1 January 2019 – New Years Day

Did you go out for the fireworks New Years Eve? How much did it cost you for a free community event? Were you left stranded by #SydneyTrains on your way home? On crowded and potentially dangerous platforms.

We are encouraged to catch public transport into major events like the fireworks. Meanwhile under periods of peak demand our public transport system goes into meltdown. Wherever and whenever, right In the middle of your “night out” or whatever, for any one of a multitude of reasons #SydneyTrains could fall over. Eventually, you will get home. By the time you get home, you may have hit retirement age.

Again, due to Berejiklian’s Liberal and Nationals #COALition Government our #SydneyTrains left Sydneysiders, their guests and visitors stranded.

While Police Minister Troy Grant may claim “crowd management” is the main reason for charging you to enter publicly owned spaces to watch the fireworks with your family. Let me be explicit and succinct — I call bullshit.

Up yours, Sydney! Love, Troy

“My personal opinion is we’d all like to do everything for free in life but things to look after the community do ultimately come at a cost. Nothing in life is for free.

Troy Grant, Police Minister – New Years Day – 1 January 2019

In any event, Troy Grant is not contesting the March 2019 state election. By and large Grant’s exiting Parliament is no great loss.

Double dipping on New Years Eve

Firstly, I can’t abide double dipping Liberal National Governments forcing taxpayers to pay for the same services twice.

Secondly, if you ask me — gouging us to enter public spaces already maintained by our taxes and council rates is a cynical cash grab. Obviously, the aim is to subsidise the clean up and capitalise on the influx of tourists.

In fact, others think it is disgusting, too!

“I frankly think that is outrageous that they’re trying to make money out of something we’re putting on to bring the community together harmoniously.

(The fireworks should) “Free for our locals, free for our interstate visitors and free to our overseas visitors, all the city-owned sites are free.

Clover also went on to say that the fireworks were a gift from Sydney City Council rate payers to Australia and the world to help celebrate the new year.

Further, I find myself agreeing with Clover Moore. Certainly, I’m glad Clover called out the greed of Gladys Berejiklian’s Government.

Why can’t #SydneyTrains cope?

In essence #SydneyTrains has been carved, outsourced, starved, downsized/rightsized, and restructured by the NSW Liberal Government. Given that from Transport Minister to Treasurer to Premier – Berejiklian’s intimate involvement in decisions made about our public transport systems is clear. Likewise, it is clear that the blame for our public transport failures can be slated home to Gladys.

Surely, as #NYE2019 proves – Gladys Berejiklian has clearly failed NSW citizens, commuters, business and taxpayers in every facet of her involvement and administration of our public transport systems.

Perhaps it is “all just a bit too hard!” for poor old Gladys and her Liberal/IPA government.

Privatisation of #SydneyTrains?

Alternatively, is Berejiklian deliberately setting #SydneyTrains up to fail? Is intentionally pissing off commuters the motive of this Liberal Government in order to make a privatisation push more palatable?

Besides, deliberately running down public service is often a prelude to privatisation. For one thing, neglect prior to privatisation historically remains a tried and tested tradition with Liberal/IPA governments. You’ve seen it before. I don’t need to elaborate.

#SydneyTrains belong to us Gladys — not you. Not the Liberal party. Nor the IPA.

Of course, privatisation of #SydneyTrains may not be under consideration by Berejiklian Liberal Government. But, what’s to stop her?

As a matter of fact Berejiklian’s been involved in flogging off everything else over the past eight years. For example, take electricity privatisation. In summary, privatisation of NSW taxpayer owned electricity utilities followed along the same old lines.

Firstly we were told the State shouldn’t be running power utilities. Secondly, private industry would definitely provide cheaper and more reliable electricity. With this in mind, the Baird/Berejiklian Liberal State Government solemnly promised and gave cast iron assurances. Directly after that, as already noted, Mike Baird skipped off to the NAB.

However, rarely if ever do any “benefits” consequently materialise for consumers. Regardless of Mike Baird and Gladys Berejiklian’s guarantees conversely our energy bills remain high with prices continuing to rise.

Although the “asset recycling” of publicly owned assets is undoubtably provable as an example of a failed and false Neo-liberal economic agenda — the Liberal Party, to its shame, continues to push it.

For all of these reasons, I say #SydneyTrains is one of the NSW Liberal Government’s greatest shame.

Don’t vote for Libs/Nats.

Berejiklian is mad, bad and dangerous you know. Giving Berejiklian another term is a major mistake. It’s not worth the risk. Boot the Berejiklian Liberal/IPA Government out in March 2019.

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