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The State Government’s plan to sell off Newcastle’s public transport network could cost hundreds of jobs and leave the community paying more, Unions NSW warned.

The Government made the official announcement on Tuesday without consulting staff or unions who had to find out through the media.

Unions NSW Secretary Mark Morey said the Baird Government is yet again showing its utter disregard for workers and the community.

“Mike Baird is so eager to sell off our valuable public assets in order to make a short term sugar hit to his budget bottom line that he is pulling the plug on any form of due process or community consultation.

“The experience of monopoly infrastructure has continually resulted in the sweating of assets, the deterioration of services and an increase in costs. We see nothing in the Baird Government’s proposals that reassure us this will be any different.”

Mr Morey said we just have to look to other states where privatisation has ended up costing the government more in the long-run.

“In 2014 Victorians paid more than $1 billion in tax-payer funded subsidies to the state's public transport operators, less than a quarter of which made its way back into the public purse through fares.

“It is unacceptable that our politicians continue to go down the path of privatisation, leading to our valuable public assets being sold to foreign companies who then exploit the system and starve our state of much needed revenue.

“What is the benefit to the community when these multinationals then seek to maximise their profits by avoiding paying taxes, slashing jobs and cutting services?”

“The State Government needs to put their privatisation agenda on hold until a transparent process is put in place to manage this transition in a way that minimises the impact on workers and maximises the continuation of quality cost effective services to the community."

 

See more: http://www.theherald.com.au/story/3832526/all-aboard-for-change-on-hunter-street/

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