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During the latest EA negotiations RTBU delegates were informed of the “Premiers Priorities” touted as the guiding principles that all public sectors, including the government transport industry, would utilise to implement “a world class public service”.

In Glady’s own words.

 “These priorities represent our commitment to making a significant difference to enhance the quality of life of the people of NSW. They aim to tackle many of the issues that have been put in the too hard basket, for too long.”

“Each priority has an ambitious target. They have been set with the purpose of delivering on my government’s key policy priorities, being:

  • a strong economy
  • highest quality education
  • well-connected communities with quality local environments
  • putting customer service at the centre of everything we do
  • breaking the cycle of disadvantage.”

However; these “commitments” as highlighted above fail on the first hurdle, and the only point tackled here is the State Government; hobbled by their own ineptitude. As is apparent, these priorities do not extend to Dr William Silk, public transport commuter and resident of Bullaburra, located in the mid-Blue Mountains area.

Poor Dr Silk has had to endure 6 months of uncertainty as he awaits TfNSW to get their act together and issue him his simple request for an assistance dog pass that allows him to bring his trusted companion on public transport without the fear of coping a fine.

Given this disgraceful and indignant treatment of Dr Silk, the Premier and Transport Minister need to take a long hard look at themselves and actually act upon their commitments to the people of NSW instead of peacocking and undertaking feel-good exercises in backslapping. Member for Blue Mountains, Ms Trish Doyle has called out Transport Minister Andrew Constance for the bureaucratic failures that have led to Dr Silk’s long wait.

Again, the Locomotive Division would like to extend its warmest gratitude and thanks to Ms Doyle, for being the champion, transport advocate, and voice for some of the more vulnerable people within our community. We have always appreciated her positive, outspoken support for transport workers and passengers alike – it does not go unnoticed.

Dr Silk’s story is not an isolated one. As members have experienced, this is a classic example of how TfNSW lends its supposed “support” to community members who require adequate assistance and customer service. It doesn’t just happen to commuters either. Members must only look at our ongoing issues surrounding the NIF, for example, and the use of CCTV footage – which does not provide the same visual support as Guards – in cabins. 

It is clear that TfNSW must improve its processes to provider smoother, streamlined support for passengers. It must also account for the voices and experiences of transport workers to ensure that changes to public transport services and working conditions are fair and adhere to common sense.