Greens MP Kobi Shetty Calls for Inner West buses to be returned to public ownership as report reveals the area leads the state in driver vacancies

Kobi Shetty MP  -  Media Release  -  14, August 2023

Today, the Greens Member for Balmain, Kobi Shetty, stands united with the community in demanding immediate action in response to the damning revelations brought to light by the first report from the Bus Industry Taskforce.

According to the findings outlined in the report, the Inner West had the highest number of total driver vacancies for privatised bus regions in April this year, with over 100 vacancies reported. This only confirms what we have been hearing from the community. Residents have been left stranded during their daily commute, and children have been unable to get to school.

This report serves as a clear confirmation of what residents in the Inner West have experienced firsthand: the privatisation of buses has undeniably failed our community.

The Inner West has been disproportionately impacted by the misguided policy of privatised buses. The bus services, once an essential lifeline for our residents, have suffered from crippling unreliability and staggering levels of driver absences. This report sheds light on the distressing reality that our community has faced for far too long.

While there may have been a range of factors at play, this report makes it clear that privatisation of buses was a key factor, with drivers leaving employment shortly after the privatisation of buses across Sydney.

Kobi Shetty MP says:

“This report makes clear what communities already know, that the privatised bus system has failed. It has contributed to a severe driver shortage which has left our community with infrequent and unreliable buses.

“While the interim recommendations for improvements are welcome, we know that it won’ go far enough.

“The privatisation process put cost savings and corporate profits above the need to provide an essential service to the community.

“The only real way to fix our buses and to give the thousands of people relying on buses the service they deserve, is to bring our buses back into public hands.

“I urge Minister Haylen to look beyond short-term band-aid solutions and commit to bringing buses back into public hands as soon as possible,” she said.

Kobi Shetty, MP has a petition calling on the Government to fix Inner West buses.

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